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The Council of Ministers of the European Union has approved the signing with Russia of a visa facilitation and readmission agreement
The Council of Ministers of the European Union has approved the signing with Russia of a visa facilitation and readmission agreement, the council's press service said Tuesday. The agreement is expected to be signed on May 25 at a summit in the Russian resort town of Sochi. The press service said the visa agreement would facilitate the process of issuing visas of up to 90 days for several categories of Russian and EU citizens, including students, civil servants, culture workers, and journalists. Ireland and the United Kingdom, which are not members of Europe's Schengen Agreement on borders and immigration policy, are excluded from the visa agreement, as is Denmark. The readmission document aims to ensure swift, efficient procedures for identifying, transporting, and repatriating individuals who have entered Russia or the EU illegally, or stayed beyond the term of their visas. The readmission agreement excludes Denmark. Vladimir Chizhov, Russia's ambassador to the EU, said Monday that the date on which the agreements come into force would depend on lawmakers represented by the European and the Russian parliaments. "I would not like to speculate over how long it [ratification] will take, but I expect the documents to come into force by the end of this year," the ambassador said. Chizhov also said Schengen visa prices would remain at the current level for Russian citizens of 35 euros.
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