Russia has decided to suspend a visa-free regime with Turkey from 1 January 2016

Russia has decided to suspend a visa-free regime with Turkey from 1 January 2016

MOSCOW, November 27. Russia has decided to suspend a visa-free regime with Turkey from the beginning of 2016. This was stated by Minister of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov following meeting with Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem.

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“I want to say, and we said that Russia is very concerned about the increase of terrorist threats in the Republic of Turkey, – said the head of the Russian foreign Ministry. Is directly related to the security of the Russian Federation, our citizens. Via Turkey established the traffic of militants in different directions”.

“To our great regret, the Turkish authorities are extremely reluctant, saying softly, collaborating on this issue with regard to citizens of the Russian Federation”, – said the head of the Russian foreign Ministry. He gave several examples. “This year we have 17 times the official notes have requested the Turkish authorities information about Russian citizens whom the Turks have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities, the Minister said. – We wanted the information to get access to these people, since they were detained on suspicion of terrorism. All of these 17 applications were left without any reaction”.

Lavrov also said that “this year more than 200 Russian citizens were deported from Turkey after they were caught by the Turkish authorities in the illegal occupation activities”. “Despite an agreement in only seven of the more than 200 cases, the Russian side had been previously informed of such deportation, the Minister said. – In most cases, these persons were deported bypassing the Russian Federation, the company distributed to other States, including States that hold unfriendly towards Russia policy.”

“In this regard, the decision by the leadership of the Russian Federation to suspend the visa-free regime, which is between Russia and the Republic of Turkey, – said Lavrov. – This decision will come into force on 1 January next year.” “It’s not far-fetched threats, this threat is quite real, – the Minister emphasized. – We responsibly inform Russian citizens”.

To listen to this audio clip you can download Quicktime.

Sergey Lavrov, Minister of foreign Affairs, visa-free regime

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Visa-free regime with Turkey. Help

In 1990-2000s for the citizens of Russia at trips to Turkey operated a simplified procedure of entry into the country: visas can be purchased at the border. At the same time, Turkish citizens were required to obtain a visa in advance, in the Russian embassies. An exception was made for holders of diplomatic passports (the intergovernmental agreement of 5 November 1999).

May 12, 2010 during the visit to Ankara by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed an Agreement on the terms of mutual trips of citizens of Russia and Turkey. According to the document, on April 16, 2011, Turkish citizens can enter Russia, and the Russians – Turkey – for up to 30 days without a visa. In may 2013, in a unilateral manner Turkey has prolonged the visa-free stay of Russian citizens on its territory up to 60 days, for Turkish citizens the period has remained the same.


Foreign Ministry recommends not to visit Turkey

Earlier the Russian foreign Ministry confirmed the recommendation to Russians to refrain from trips to Turkey, and located in the territory of the Republic – to return to Russia. “In connection with continuing on the territory of Turkey by terrorist threats we confirm the recommendation to Russian nationals to refrain from visiting the Turkish Republic, and there are personal goals to Russians suggest to return to their Homeland”, – stressed in the Ministry of foreign Affairs.

On 24 November the head of the Russian foreign Ministry said that, according to the Russian depodesta, the threat of terrorism in Turkey, no less than in Egypt. According to him, the foreign Ministry recommends Russians with tourist or other purpose to visit Turkey.

Regarding reducing air links with Turkey

The head of the Ministry of economic development Alexei Ulyukayev admitted the possibility of cancellation of air links with Turkey in the framework of restrictive measures against that country in connection with the attack on su-24M. Ulyukayev noted that, “of course, can we talk about the restriction as scheduled flights, and Charter air traffic, the Ministry of transport will prepare the appropriate proposals.” The economic development Minister stressed that such measures are envisaged by the 2006 act, on the basis of which the Russian Federation will consider restrictive measures against Turkey.


November 24, fighter from the Turkish air force F-16 shot down Russian bomber su-24M, which, according to Ankara, had violated the country’s airspace near the border with Syria.

The crew of a military aircraft managed to eject, but one of the two pilots was killed by ground fire. The second pilot was rescued. In search of the pilots was attended by two helicopters Mi-8. One of the cars came under fire and made an emergency landing. One marine soldier was killed.

In the Russian defense Ministry said the su-24M was extremely over Syrian territory, and that violations of its airspace was not.

Vladimir Putin warned that the attack on the bomber would have “serious consequences” for Russian-Turkish relations. According to the head of state, the Turkish air force attack on the Russian plane involved in anti-terrorist operations in Syria and posed a threat to Turkey, is a “stab in the back” of Russia.

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© AP Photo/Hussein Malla

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