Russia and the European Union will discuss concrete steps aimed at scrapping the bilateral visa regime during a summit in Brussels on December 7, the head of the EU delegation to Russia said Monday.
"I think issues of visa-free travel [between Russia and the EU] will certainly be on the agenda of the discussions," Ambassador Fernando Valenzuela told a news conference in Moscow.
"The discussion is likely to focus on two themes - determining concrete steps to introduce visa-free travel, as well as easing the existing visa regime to make travel simpler and cheaper, both for EU citizens and Russians," the diplomat said.
The Kremlin has made visa-free travel between Russia and the EU a foreign policy priority.
Russia submitted a draft agreement on scrapping the visa regime to the EU at the Russia-EU summit in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don on May 31, but Europe has been reluctant so far to move ahead with the issue amid concerns that a visa-free regime could lead to a rise in crime and illegal immigration.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in an interview with Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung on Thursday called on the EU to determine visa scrapping terms and schedule without further delay, saying a failure to do so was causing problems in relations between Moscow and Brussels.
MOSCOW, November 29 (RIA Novosti)