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    Lavrov Says Russia Will Not Unilaterally Abolish Visas for EU Countries

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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday that Moscow will not unilaterally cancel the visa regime with the countries of the European Union.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia will never cancel visas for EU countries on a unilateral basis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday.

    "It is possible to do this [to cancel the visa regime of Russia and the European Union] exclusively on the basis of mutuality," he said after talks with Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Alfonso Dastis.

    According to Lavrov, "those who study the Russian position on the principles on which we build relations with other countries should not even ask whether we agree to grant someone such gifts unilaterally, without getting anything in return."

    A Visa-free regime with the European Union has long been part of Russia's external policy goals. Russia and the European Union earlier held talks on mutual visa abolition and even made progress in this area.

    In July 2012, Lavrov said it might take no longer than a year and a half for Russia and the European Union to move to a visa-free regime. Still, the process has been frozen by the bloc after Crimea's reunification with Russia in March 2014.

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    visa regime, European Union, Sergei Lavrov, Moscow, Russia
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