Russia, Iran plan to sign agreement on visa-free travel for tourist groups

TASS– The agreement on visa-free travel for Russian and Iranian citizens within tourist groups will be signed during the visit of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani to Moscow scheduled for March 2017, Russia’s Ambassador to Iran Levan Dzhagaryan told TASS.

The sides are expected to discuss the main issues related to bilateral relations in the political as well as trade and economic areas during the upcoming visit, he said. “Moreover, the cooperation regarding most pressing issues on the regional agenda, such as the situation in Syria and Afghanistan, the Caspian problem, the Karabakh conflict will obviously be touched upon,” he added.

According to Dzhagaryan, “the signing of a number of agreements is planned within the visit and the sides are making up the list of those documents now.”

“The agreement on vise-free travel for citizens of the two countries within tourist groups (from 5 to 50 people) is the most noteworthy,” the ambassador said, adding that “this agreement will trigger the growth of tourist flow” between the states.
However, Dzhagaryan added, Russia and Iran are not negotiating total cancellation of visa scheme. “No talks on total cancellation of the visa scheme is underway so far,” he said.

According to the envoy, the number of Russian tourists who travelled to Iran increased 13.5% in 2016.

“The number of Russian tourists (visiting Iran) in 2016 went up 13.5%, while the number of Iranians who visited Russia on tourist visas amounted to around 63,000 people, an almost 100% increase compared with 2015,” he told TASS.