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Britain thanks Russia for waiving visas for Champions League

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The British Embassy in Moscow issued a statement on Wednesday thanking the Russian leadership for formally waiving visa requirements for soccer fans travelling to the May 21 Champions League final.
MOSCOW, May 14 (RIA Novosti) - The British Embassy in Moscow issued a statement on Wednesday thanking the Russian leadership for formally waiving visa requirements for soccer fans travelling to the May 21 Champions League final.

Russia's president signed an order earlier in the day allowing Manchester United and Chelsea fans holding tickets for the final at Luzhniki Stadium to enter the country without visas.

"We are very grateful to President Dmitry Medvedev for making it easier for British fans to travel here for the match," embassy press secretary James Barbour told RIA Novosti.

In line with the presidential order, all foreign nationals in possession of tickets will be able to enter the country from May 17 and stay until May 25, showing just their tickets, completed migration cards and passports at border control points.

The U.K. has stopped short of reciprocating the move for Russian fans travelling to Manchester tonight for the UEFA Cup final clash between Glasgow Rangers and St. Petersburg's Zenit FC. However, Russian ticket holders have been able to obtain British visas free of charge, and without the need for invitations.

Barbour said the measures from both sides set a good precedent for cooperation between the countries in sport.

Russia's upper house of parliament had approved on Monday amendments to the law on entry into and exit from Russia, allowing the president to waive visa restrictions when required.

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

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