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uninformed
17-07-2004, 20:00
#1
U.S. ready to issue multiple-year visas to Russians, if Russia does same - diplomat

MOSCOW. 17 July (Interfax) - The United States could extend significantly the duration of a multientry visa for Russian nationals, if Russia agrees to do the same for U.S. citizens, American ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow has said.

"There are some areas where the principle of reciprocity could improve the situation for citizens such as lowering the fees for visas or allowing longer duration for visitors' visas," he said in an interview with Interfax. "Right now Russia does not issue visas for longer than two year periods, so therefore we only issue multiple entry visas that are valid for two years, " he added.

"But with other countries we issue visas that are valid for five years and in a few cases for even 10 years and I am sure that we could increase the duration, if Russia agrees to do the same," he said.

"It is worth noting that the validity of visas for Russian students and journalists traveling to the U.S. recently dropped from two years to one, corresponding to the validity of visas granted U.S. students and journalists by the Russian government," Vershbow said.

The full text of the interview will be posted on Monday July 19 on the website www.interfax.ru.

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