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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#51  PostPosted: 25 Apr 2011 14:13 
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Times_to_FSU: Too many to remember
Visa-free travel to Europe inches closer

by Andy Potts at 25/04/2011

Russia’s dream of visa-free travel to the EU has gone on for so long that the negotiation process can often appear almost comatose.
But after a year of intense lobbying, President Dmitry Medvedev is claiming success following the creation of a list of joint steps to be taken by Russian and Euro diplomats.
That checklist, once completed, is expected to pave the way to a formal waiver of visas between Russia and all EU member states – ultimately including those such as the UK which have opted out of the Schengen agreement, Kommersant reported.

Groundbreaking

Vladimir Voronkov, head of the foreign ministry’s department of European Cooperation, warned that the list still needed fine-tuning to ensure it was acceptable to all sides.
But he told the business daily that it was a “groundbreaking document”.
“Together we will define the parameters on both sides,” he said. “Both Russia and the EU will act as completely equal partners in the development of these steps and a future agreement on a visa-free regime.
“This is a new practice in the EU, and it will help Russia develop joint steps towards visa-free travel with all EU countries.”
Previously when countries have sought to introduce visa relaxations with Brussels, Europe has adopted a guiding role.
But Moscow, uniquely, will not be receiving formal advice from Europe about how to meet the required standards to waive visa requirements.

Read more: .[click-me.gif].

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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#52  PostPosted: 26 Apr 2011 13:45 
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Hi

To be honest, I think 99% of the people here, is satisfied with a 180 day rule or faor that matter a 90 day rule.

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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#53  PostPosted: 26 Apr 2011 15:19 
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viking wrote:
Hi

To be honest, I think 99% of the people here, is satisfied with a 180 day rule or faor that matter a 90 day rule.

Viking



I must be in the 1% thats not

If you are visiting as a tourist or on geniune business then the current system is not to bad but of course expensive and inconvenient, but if you have a wife in Russia (as in my case)then its very different, legally your wife has to apply for a private invitation visa, which is a lot of hassle and expense, so visa free travel would be a huge benefit.

Yes i know many people travel to see their wife on a business visa, sure some people spend much of their time there by this visa, its was recommended to me when i first visited, but its not legal and if you get challenged then there are issues, which i have experienced. I have found in the past most Visa agents are not totally honest with their advice and bend the rules as much as possible, 90% of the time officials turn a blind eye, but the current visa system is not black and white. Officials in Russia must know its being abused and on the most part except it, but it only takes one jobs worth to follow the letter of the law and your life can be made difficult. Sooner they modernise their visa system the better and i'm sure Russia will benefit with large growth in tourists travelling there. Holidays are expensive enough without forking out £100+ for a visa and all the hassle of registration and restrictions, lets say its not an easy option to travel to Russia and it must put many people off going.


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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#54  PostPosted: 26 Apr 2011 18:22 
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Unlucky the Anglo sphere still require to have a visa in order to enter Russia. Most of Latin America do not need a visa to enter Russia. [yes.gif]


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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#55  PostPosted: 26 Apr 2011 19:30 
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Link wrote:
Unlucky the Anglo sphere still require to have a visa in order to enter Russia. Most of Latin America do not need a visa to enter Russia. [yes.gif]


Yes you are very lucky not to have the need for a visa....... but how many millions Russians visit Mexico, Latin America, also including USA and also how many travel the other direction?

[sarcastic.gif]

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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#56  PostPosted: 27 Apr 2011 15:20 
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Another Russian Spin Article!

May I remind everybody that Next year there are Presidential elections in Russia, and in my view this is another spinning message from President Medvedev to gain support.

Reading the article it's pretty obvious the Russians want to force the EU to accept their terms but that is not at the interest or possible, for the European Union member states. Under the present financial conditions around the world and especially in the EU and Russia, the thread of mass migration from the Russian Federation towards the EU makes the EU very cautious, if not reluctant, to progress these negotiations.
Quote:
Russia’s dream of visa-free travel to the EU has gone on for so long that the negotiation process can often appear almost comatose.

But after a year of intense lobbying, President Dmitry Medvedev is claiming success following the creation of a list of joint steps to be taken by Russian and Euro diplomats.
These negotiations between the EU and the Russian Federation have been going on since 2004 and still looks are going nowhere.! Comments likes those below, showing arrogance and "illusion of Grandeur" of superpower status from Russia....... are laughable and do not present any threat to the EU because there is huge difference in the standard of living and income per Capita between the EU and Russia. Of course the autocratic undemocratic and totally corrupt system in Russia does not help their case either.
Quote:
“Together we will define the parameters on both sides,” he said. “Both Russia and the EU will act as completely equal partners in the development of these steps and a future agreement on a visa-free regime.
“This is a new practice in the EU, and it will help Russia develop joint steps towards visa-free travel with all EU countries.


Previously when countries have sought to introduce visa relaxations with Brussels, Europe has adopted a guiding role.

But Moscow, uniquely, will not be receiving formal advice from Europe about how to meet the required standards to waive visa requirements
.
These statements show complete ignorance on how the EU formulate it's agreements with 3rd parties, arrogance on Russia's delusion of Superpower status in their belief that they can manipulate or force the EU to accept their conditions, because of the partially dependence of the EU for Gas supplies from Russia and that is a huge mistake and to Russian's detriment as they loose huge amounts of foreign currency flowing into their country by relying on their exports of Oil and Gas.

IS TOURISM MORE PROFITABLE THAN OIL BUSINESS?

Tourism has been long considered as one of the most profitable and intensively developing branches of world economy. Its share in the world gross national income is about 10%. Both small countries and large developed ones profit greatly from tourism. There are several countries where growth of tourism profitability is up to 1000%. Profits from tourism services sometimes even exceed profits from oil or automobile exports.

VISA REQUIREMENTS ARE A BURDEN FOR TOURIST INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT

I read in my travel newspaper, that the UNWTO (United Nations World Travel Organization) calls Russia to simplify visa application process for foreign citizens to attract more tourists.

The first step in that direction has been already made: agreements on facilitation of Russia and EU member states visa requirements were reached at the last session of Russia-EU Partnership Council in Sochi 2006.

The visa application procedure was simplified both for EU and Russian citizens, which will certainly contribute to the development of both inbound and outbound tourism.

I still hold the view that the Visa Free regime between the EU and Russia.... is years away. [sad.gif]

Maybe in 2014 the Russians wil be forced to make a unilateral decision and abolish the visa requirement, at least for the Olympic Games.

Take a look at these latest statistics for Tourist arrivals and notice that Russia (a Huge country) is behind the Czech Republic, ( a very small country), and also Greece a tiny country is just after Russia.......and imagine if Russia unilaterally abolished the Visa and registration requirements ...... how the development of its tourist infrastructure and the the tourist income will receive from making this decision!

.Tourist-arrivals by country.[click-me.gif].

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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#57  PostPosted: 28 Apr 2011 16:39 
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Wiz,

I agree that visa free travel is years away and I have no problems with this. What I would be happy with a similar tourist visa who what they are issued when they get one for the USA (that is a one year visa with multiple entries and you usually have the option to buy a multi-year visa).

Now how much does it hurt tourism, I think a little, but not as much as a person thinks. For an American to visit Russia, you'll already be spending a lot of money (talking thousands) so an extra $180 for a visa is no big deal. Secondly, if comparing the number of sites to see with say central Europe where Prague is located, you'll find that Russia might be in a competitive disadvantage (especially since Russias sites are more spread out with maybe the exception of the Golden Ring), then add the negative reputation Russia has for service and corruption and one will realize that the country has more than high visa costs to overcome and the upcoming Olympics will be a good starting point.


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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#58  PostPosted: 28 Apr 2011 19:11 
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Yannis (aka wiz),

I really have my doubts about the tourist industry developing in Russia,

The reason that I say this is that in my opinion the art of "customer service" is an almost unknown art in Russia.

More times than I care to think about I have come across the attitude of "This is what there is, this is what you get, you have no other option, so like it or lump it!"
Now that is not what I call customer service [angry2.gif]

I will though have to concede that there are exceptions.

The exception that springs immediately to mind is when I booked a hotel for Alla to stay overnight in Moscow (connecting flight issues) and despite the fact that the British company that I used to book her hotel had not confirmed or paid for the booking Alla was given a room and further she did not have to pay for the room during the check-out process.

But that is the exception that proves the rule [whiteflag.gif]

Cheesy,

While I do not dispute that Russia does have a less than perfect reputation regarding the reputation that it has regarding customer service and corruption I still think that the hassle of getting a Russian visa does deter many of the "average" tourists.

I also agree with you that the fact that Russia is so spread out does deter many tourists especially since it is quite difficult to travel to certain areas of Russia unless you are willing to use Russian Airlines, or you have the time to travel by train and Russian airlines have a very bad reputation and in my opinion the bad reputation is deserved.

Back to the visa issue, the question is. if Russia were to abolish the requirement for visas and tourism was to increase would the increase in tourism drive Russian customer service towards a more acceptable standard?

In my opinion there is no real answer to that question.

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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#59  PostPosted: 29 Apr 2011 10:23 
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The Russian Federation
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The great diversity that can be found in Russia is almost incomprehensible to a foreigner even one that has visited a few diverse regions in the vast country that is Russia.
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Most westerners associate Russia with the great imperial centres of Moscow and St Petersburg, and although these two cities, the capital and the beautiful 'Venice of the North' are a must-see, they are a mere scratching on the surface of this vast and varied land. Straddling two continents and 11 time zones, the Russian Federation is the largest country on earth, nearly twice the size of the United States of America. Within this impressive expanse lie natural wonders such as Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world, and beautiful mountains, rivers and forests abounding with wildlife as well as timeless traditional villages scattered across the Siberian landscape.

Visitors taking the opportunity to explore Russia will not be disappointed: its impressive museums, overwhelming sense of history, culture and unspoilt wilderness will leave one with a desire to see more.

Despite the visible effects of hardship and economic disparity, and its previous isolation from the rest of the world, travellers will encounter a country of enormous diversity and vitality, with cultural treasures and historical monuments, great imperial cities and glittering cathedrals. Visitors will experience the enchantment of Tchaikovsky, the Kirov and Bolshoi Ballet, and marvel at priceless Russian icons and the unique style of decorative onion-domed architecture.

As Russia moves forward into the 21st century, it leaves behind a turbulent history of tyranny and a crippled economy: from Ivan the Terrible to Peter the Great, from the fall of the tsars to the dictatorship of the Soviet government. Today it is a nation embracing its newfound freedom and future potential, whilst enjoying a renewal of the rich cultural heritage of its past.

The above information is from http://www.wordtravels.com

Having worked in the travel industry for over 30 years, I have witnessed the tourist development of my own country of birth, Greece, so I would re-iterate my previous comment that : "Tourism has been long considered as one of the most profitable and intensively developing branches of world economy. Its share in the world gross national income is about 10%. Both small countries and large developed ones profit greatly from tourism. "

It is very clear and very noticeable looking the statistics and making comparisons over the years that; While the figures about Russia are remaining static other countries like Ukraine for example (that has abolished the visa requirement) have seen a spectacular increase in tourist visitors arrivals.

Abolishing the visa requirement, even if the Russians have to do it unilaterally it will be a great move for liberation from the current cumbersome way and I agree with "Cheesy!, even the issuing of a one year multi entry visas will make a big difference to the travelling foreign visitors. Obviously abolishing the visa and registration requirement for the European Union at first instance and the United States later will make a huge difference to their foreign arrivals.

At the moment and in the words of my other half, the country is: "still a close country".

Rome was not build in a day and tourism in the well known holiday destination has not developed overnight but it will prove to be a huge forward leap in the life of ordinary Russians and an eye opener and I am sure very soon the Russian stuff will learn to provide a good service, because they will have too, when they discover the benefits of huge tourist influx.

I am certain that if the Russian Government abolish the visa and also the registration and adopt an open sky policy allowing charters to the country and most importantly not only to Moscow and St. Petersburg but also to other regional airports then the traffic of foreign visitors will shoot up as many millions would want to visit this otherwise "Close country" and discover the now kept secret treasures!

May I point as an example the fact of what happen 2 years ago when the EU cup final was played in Moscow between Chelsea and Man United football teams, and in 3 days only, 48,000 visitors arrived with charters to watch the match and Moscow had not enough bed accommodation to accommodate these visitors! Don't forget the Olympics in Sochi approaching very fast, when I think finally the Russians will abolish the visa requirement.

The problem is, would the current autocratic, undemocratic and backwards looking Government of Russia will take such steps to improve the future outlook of this great country or it will continue allowing the totally corrupt system to inhibit any improvements in the life of the normal Russian people?

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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#60  PostPosted: 02 May 2011 22:31 
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Wiz

If you research a littler, you will discover there is a political and a consumer 'free travel perception.
The political visa free travel, can be put a side the Schengen, which mean a complete removal of all barriers = no passport control.
A consumer free travel would be the 90 days per ½ year, where you dont need visa, but need to line up at the passport control. This one, is not so far away in the future.

I was consued about this too meself, until I found two a more or less identical explanation. So when the press write about the free travel, its actually the political one.

I retype, I would perfectly happy for NO visa for 1 months and has no problem of waiting in line at the passport control and don't have to make registration.

Viking


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