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    Moscow is ready to resume talks with Brussels on a visa-free regime, as soon as sanctions are lifted

    Russia Ready to Resume Visa Dialogue With EU Once Sanctions Lifted

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    Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry Anvar Azimov stated that Moscow is ready to resume talks with Brussels on a visa-free regime, as soon as sanctions are lifted.

    MOSCOW, January 15 (Sputnik) – Moscow is ready to resume talks with Brussels on a visa-free regime, as soon as sanctions are lifted, Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry Anvar Azimov told RIA Novosti Thursday.

    "As soon as the sanctions, which we consider counterproductive, are lifted, Russia is ready to resume the dialogue on a visa-free regime at any moment," Azimov said.

    The statement comes in the light of a forthcoming meeting of EU foreign policy chiefs on sanctions against Russia, planned for January 19.

    The Ambassador-at-Large stressed that Moscow, unlike Brussels, has already fulfilled all its obligations specified under the relevant agreements prior to March 2014, when the European Union decided to put a halt to negotiations on a visa-free regime as part of the sanctions introduced following Crimea's reunification with Russia.

    "We believe that introduction of a visa-free regime will serve the interest of both the European Union and Russia equally," he said.

    Visa-free travel between Russia and the European Union has long been seen as a foreign policy priority in Moscow. Russia submitted a draft deal on simplifying the visa regime to the European Union in 2010. Before March 2014, the sides had met regularly to discuss the prospects and conditions of the potential liberalization of their visa regimes.

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    sanctions, Anvar Azimov, Russia
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