Russia and Turkey signed an agreement for the mutual removal of the visa requirements for the two countries’ citiznes as part of a series of accords signed during the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Ankara.
This historical agreement will make easier the life of thousands of people, Medvedev said following the signing. It concerns all the citizens of the two countries who travel for up to 30 days, but it is most significant for the Russian tourists who chose to spend their holidays in Turkey, he stated.
The number of Russian tourists who visited Turkey in 2009 was 2.5 million, while it was over 3 million before the start of the economic crisis. Their numbers will be high again this year, Medvedev predicted, because Russians like holidaying in Turkey.
As BalkanTravellers.com reported in April, until now Russian tourists coming to Turkey received their visas at the airport for a price of 15 to 20 US dollars (around 7 to 11 euro).
The new visa-free regime between Russia and Turkey is expected by experts to
deal a hard blow to Greece’s tourism industry, although since the beginning of April, the Schengen member states introduced an easier regime for issuing visas to Russian citizens, which included a faster processing period – decreased from 15 to 10 days, and a decreased price, so that visas for adults now cost 60 euro and 35 euro for children.
As BalkanTravellers.com reported in March, in an effort to attract more tourists, Croatia also removed the visa requirements for Russian citizens for the upcoming summer season.