Sunday, August 20, 2017

Czech PM Necas hopeful on EU-Russia visa debate

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas recently expressed optimism that the ongoing debate between Russia and the EU over the visa regime could be resolved during the EU-Russia summit next week.

"I consider it possible that an agreement on further easing the visa regime be concluded at the summit in Yekaterinburg," Necas said on Tuesday after a visit to Moscow, Prague Daily Monitor reports.

The Kremlin has advocated for the abolishment of visa requirements for European citizens traveling within the continent for six years, stating the visa regime poses a barrier to human and business contacts. However, the EU has been reluctant to consent fearing the expansion of Russian gang activity and mass emigration from Russia.

Over a recent series of negotiations that started in March, EU officials have begun to consider lifting visa requirements for short-term and business travel. In lieu of visa requirements for such trips, the EU has proposed the introduction of smart passports which contain biometric data such as fingerprints, according to Prague Daily Monitor.