RUSSIA will make it easier to obtain a tourist visa for six months for foreign travelers who have a hotel reservation in advance. There are 19 countries that can take advantage of this opportunity, one of which is Indonesia. Quoted from Anadolu Agency, this announcement follows a decree signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Tuesday (02/21).

He passed a decree approving the ease of obtaining tourist visas for 19 ‘friendly’ countries for Russia. According to the Russian government website, the 19 countries include: Bahrain, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey and the Philippines.

“Citizens of these countries can get a tourist visa for up to six months if they have a hotel reservation,” reads the decree signed by Mishustin.

Furthermore, on Wednesday (Feb. 15) Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced before the lower house (State Duma) that he was planning to introduce a visa-free system for 11 countries and visa relaxation for 6 countries in the near future.

Lavrov mentioned that one of the countries that can enjoy visa-free travel is India. He also said that the Russian Foreign Ministry is currently working to lift restrictions on issuing e-visas to around 70 countries – with the exception of ‘unfriendly’ countries.

The unfriendly countries in question are those that imposed massive sanctions on Russia over its military operations specifically in Ukraine.

Lavrov explained that the plan to lift restrictions on the issuance of e-visas to 70 countries was approved three years ago. However, its implementation has been stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The government has been instructed to report by June 1 on the possibility of starting the implementation of the previous decision on the issuance of electronic visas [e-visas],” he said. [sources/photo special]