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Visa war between Russia and EU
Visa arrangements between Russia and the European Union should be mutually beneficial, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Chizhov said in an interview posted on the ministry's Website Monday. Russia would like to secure an agreement whereby its nationals will need no visa to enter an EU country for a stay of up to 90 days, provided that they do not seek employment or welfare benefits in Europe, Chizhov said. At the moment, forty-three nations enjoy that right. "But of course, this can be done only on the basis of reciprocity: non-visa travel to Europe for the Russians and to Russia for the Europeans," he added. According to Chizhov, some of the countries referred to by the EU as "new neighbors"-such as Ukraine and Moldova-have signed agreements granting the right of entry without visa to EU nationals in exchange for free-of-charge European visas for their own citizens. To Russia, such an "unbalanced option" is unacceptable as "it would freeze the situation for years while we want the visa problem solved in the foreseeable future." The EU, for its part, is pushing for a readmission agreement with Russia, Chizhov said. According to him, Moscow is willing to readmit unauthorized Russian immigrants, but it would not want to commit itself to admitting and supporting deported citizens of Third World countries who have got into Europe via the CIS.
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