Traveling between Russia and the EU should be made as easy as possible as part of the transition to a visa-free regime, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
"We should move to a visa-free regime together with our European colleagues, since the majority of our partners in Europe support this idea," Putin said at a meeting with students at the Siberian Federal University in the eastern Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.
Several EU states reject the idea, mainly for political reasons, he added.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the mutual scrapping of visa requirements between Russia and the EU would have a "transformative" effect on the entire European and Euro-Atlantic political relationship.
"Its [visa regime] preservation can create problems for the implementation of our common plans," he said at a meeting with students at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
Russia has submitted to its European partners a draft agreement abolishing visa requirements and was now waiting for "constructive reaction," he added.
Berlusconi said there had been a certain resistance to a visa-free regime in Europe, especially from some Eastern European countries.
"This is probably connected to the history of these countries during the Soviet era," Berlusconi said.
Russia has already signed an agreement on a facilitated visa procedure for several categories of its citizens, including students, postgraduates, journalists and some others, Putin said.
"As for students, we came to decision at least not to take money from them [for visas]," Putin added.
Russia presented the EU with a draft agreement on abolishing the visa regime during the Russia-EU summit on May 31-June 1 in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.
KRASNOYARSK, September 1 (RIA Novosti)