Posted on 30.07.2012 in Featured, News, Russia

Lavrov-Sikorski agreement on local border traffic has come into force

Russian and Polish Foreign Ministers, Sergei Lavrov (left) and Radoslaw Sikorski (right), photo: RIA Novosti

On 27th July the law on local border traffic has come into force, after signing it a half year earlier, on 14th December 2011 in Moscow. Poland and Russia, then, agreed that the Polish and the Kaliningrad Oblast border will be surpassable without a visa.

The only needed document to pass the border is the permition issued by the Russian and Polish consular offices (Gdansk, Kaliningrad, Warsaw). The first paper is valid for 2 years, every next one – for 5 years. People who are beneficial from the recently worked out regulation on visa-free travel in mentioned area are the registered for at least 3 years residents of the border region and the third countries citizens living in the border area for the same period.

There are 5 border crossings that are included in the local border traffic system, as follows: Goldap, Bezledy, Grzechotki, Gronow, Braniewo.

It seems that this is the first step towards creating the visa-free movement between Poland and Russia. Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, said Russian Federation needs no more than 18 months to get ready to introduce the visa-free travel with the EU.

“Swift abolition of the visa regime remains our priority,” Lavrov said in the context of Cyprus presidency in the EU, after talks with  Cyprus Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Markoullis in Moscow.

Russia and the EU have yet to agree on a timetable for introducing visa-free travel, he said. In the meantime, Moscow suggests additional measures in 2012 to liberalize the visa regime by broadening categories of citizens, who enjoy simpler visa requirements, and by extending a visa validity period, the minister said.

“We reaffirmed our readiness for productive joint work of carrying out joint steps that need to be made to achieve a visa-free regime for short-term trips between Russian and EU citizens,” Lavrov said.

 Source: Eastbook, KyivPost