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State Duma passes bill to allow president to simplify visa regime

MOSCOW, May 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's lower house of parliament adopted on Thursday amendments to the law on entry into and exit from Russia, allowing the president to simplify visa laws as and when he deems fit.

The amendments do not set out any specific procedures, but allow the president to formulate a simplified visa regime by decree.

The document could be applied to large events in Russia that involve a large number of foreign participants and enhance the country's international prestige.

The move comes as Moscow prepares for the arrival of over 40,000 English soccer fans for the Champions League final, to be held in the Russian capital on May 21. The Russian Foreign Ministry recently announced that fans in possession of a match ticket would be able to enter the country without a visa for 72 hours.

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