Russia suspends visa-free regime with Turkey

Russia suspends visa-free regime with Turkey

MOSCOW, January 1. Russia today suspended the visa-free regime for Turkish citizens.

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The decision was taken after the attack on 24 November 2015 Turkish military aircraft of the Russian su-24 aircraft during the performance of tasks within anti-terrorist operation over Syria. The attack plane was shot down from ground fire, killing one of the pilots – the commander of crew Oleg Peshkov. During the operation to rescue the second pilot was killed by another Russian soldier.

On November 27 Minister of foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov announced that Russia suspends visa-free regime between Russia and Turkey from 1 January 2016.

On 28 November, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed a decree “On measures for safeguarding national security of the Russian Federation and the protection of citizens from criminal and other unlawful acts and on application of special economic measures against the Turkish Republic.” The document in particular envisages visa regime, prohibits Charter flights between Russia and Turkey, in addition, Russian tour operators should refrain from working in Turkey.

According to the decree, the visa restrictions will not affect Turkish citizens with temporary residence permit or a residence permit on the territory of the Russian Federation and directed on work in diplomatic missions.

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The Turkish authorities have not taken measures mirror. As noted by the official representative of the Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, the abolition of a visa-free regime is the sovereign right of each country, the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Russia and Turkey are not holding any discussions regarding the possible introduction of Ankara visas for Russians.

In 1990-2000-ies 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 (under the intergovernmental agreement of 5 November 1999).

May 12, 2010 during the visit to Ankara at the time of 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 in Turkey for up to 30 days without a visa. In may 2013, unilaterally, Turkey has prolonged the visa-free stay of Russian citizens on its territory up to 60 days, for Turkish citizens, the deadline remained the same.