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The easing of visa restrictions for Russian citizens traveling to the United States will be a focus during talks between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama in France's Deauville in May.
During a meeting with residents of Russia's Siberian city of Irkutsk on Sunday, Medvedev said he had sent Obama a letter with the relevant request and "intended to discuss it seriously."
In mid-April, Michael McFaul, a top national security aide at the White House, said Washington hoped to conclude a new visa agreement with Russia and took the issue "seriously."
On Putin's proposal, McFaul said the prime minister "had joked" when he suggested that the visas could be scrapped. He said a new agreement would not include a visa-free regime, but would be an improvement from what exists between the two countries today.
Currently, the issuing of U.S. visas for Russian citizens is a long and complicated process, which many Russian tourists and businessmen have complained of.
Russia is also pushing the European Union on abolishing visas for Russians, but the talks have so far yielded no significant results.
IRKUTSK, April 18 (RIA Novosti)
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- email@example.comThe elimination of VISA's should go very quickly20:09, 18/04/2011Political relations between Russia and the United States have never been better and there is no reason why the current VISA regime should not be discontinued. From the sounds of it, it is a lot harder to get an American VISA in Russia than it is to get a Russia VISA in either the United States and Canada.
The elimination of the VISA regime will make it much easier for both tourists and business people alike from both Russia and America to travel back and forth to do business.
This can only be a good thing for both the United States, Canada and Russia.
On the plus side American President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev get along very well. This friendship is integral to the newly developing stronger ties between the United States and Russia.
It is unknown if American President Barack Obama and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are good friends but I would not be surprised if they were. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is a very dynamic and energetic Russian leader that I am sure American President Barack Obama would get along with him just fine. In fact I would not be surprised if one day American President Barack Obama might teach Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin how to surf in his home state of Hawaii. That would make for a wonderful future United States – Russian news story.
Each country and its people have so much to offer the other.
In May 2011, it would be quite something if American President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev could work out a political arrangement to scrape the VISAs required to travel back and forth between each country.
Then all that needs to be done is to improve political relations with Canada and Russia. And this I am working on behind the scenes every single day! Once travel between the United States and Russia is VISA free hopefully Canada will follow just as quickly.
Earlier this month, Russia hosted the Fourth International Meeting of the Arctic Council at Naryan-Mar, a seaport in the Barents Sea, to discuss issues relating to the infrastructure and safety of ships passing through the Northern Sea Route (NSR).