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AGREEMENT between the Russian Federation and the European Community on the facilitation of the issuance of visas to the citizens of the Russian Federation and the European Union

THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION and THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, hereinafter referred to as "the Community",

 

Desiring to facilitate people to people contacts as an important condition for a steady development of economic, humanitarian, cultural, scientific and other ties, by facilitating the issuing of visas to the citizens of the European Union and the Russian Federation on the basis of reciprocity;

Having regard to the Joint Statement agreed on the occasion of the St.Petersburg Summit held on 31 May 2003 stating that the European Union and the Russian Federation agree to examine the conditions for visa-free travel as a long term perspective;

Reaffirming the intention to establish the visa-free travel regime between the Russian Federation and the European Union;

Bearing in mind the Agreement on Partnership and Co-operation of 24 June 1994 establishing a Partnership between the European Communities and their Member States, on the one part, and the Russian Federation, on the other part;

Having regard to the Joint Statement on EU Enlargement and EU-Russia Relations agreed on 27 April 2004 confirming the intention of the EU and the Russian Federation to facilitate visa issuance for the citizens of the European Union and the Russian Federation on a reciprocal basis and to launch negotiations with a view to concluding an agreement;

Recognising that this facilitation should not lead to illegal migration and paying special attention to security and readmission;

Taking into account the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Ireland and the Protocol integrating the Schengen acquis into the framework of the European Union, annexed to the Treaty on European Union of 7 February 1992 and the Treaty establishing the European Community of 25 March 1957 and confirming that the provisions of this agreement do not apply to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Ireland...

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