Russia, Turkey Drop Visa Requirements
As of April 16th, Russia and Turkey are dropping visa requirements, implementing an agreement signed in May 2010, said Anadolu Agency.
The agreement is expected to boost trade between Russia and Turkey, which has already reached 26 billion USD. A significant rise in tourists travelling to the countries is also expected. Under the new deal, each countrys' nationals can now travel visa-free for 30 days within a three-month period.
Meanwhile, the President of the Turkish Exporters Assembly Mehmet Buyukeksi called for EU member countries to remove visa requirements.
One of the key fears of EU members Germany and France is that they will be flooded by Turkish migrants looking for work, and Greece has called for Turkey to agree on a re-admission deal for illegal immigrants. Hundreds of them cross the border between Turkey and Greece on a daily basis, overwhelming the Greek authorities' ability to process them.
So far, negotiations for visa-free travel for Turkish citizens to the EU have moved very slowly. Turkey's reluctance to stem the tide of illegal migrants mirrors the EU's reluctance to loosen visa restrictions on Turkish nationals.
And in February, Turkey said it would mothball a draft deal for a re-admission of illegal immigrants unless the EU starts talks on a visa-free travel regime for Turkish nationals.