Russia OKs visa regime for 19 countries, including Türkiye

MOSCOW (AA) : Russia’s Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin approved a decree enabling a facilitated visa regime for citizens of 19 countries, including Türkiye.

Citizens of the specified countries may get a tourist visa for up to six months if they have a hotel reservation, the decree, published on the government portal on Tuesday, read.

The facilitated countries are Bahrain, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Thailand, Türkiye and the Philippines.

Speaking at Russia’s lower chamber of parliament on Feb.15, State Duma, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that Russia plans to introduce a visa-free regime with 11 countries in the near future, as well as a visa-easing regime with six countries.

The Foreign Ministry will publish a report by June 1 on the possibility of introducing electronic visas for citizens of 70 more countries, he said, pledging that “there will be no problems for friendly countries.”

Russia introduced visa requirements for regular Turkish passport owners as of April 1, 2016, and expanded the requirements for Turkish citizens with service and special passports as well. The restriction was imposed after Türkiye’s downing of a Russian Su-24 fighter jet for violating the country’s airspace in 2015.

In July 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Foreign Ministry to send a notification to Turkish officials about this partial restoration of visa-free travel for official and service passport holders as well as for international transport drivers.