Russia says visa-free regime with Iran hinges on pandemic

October 18, 2020 - 17:48

TEHRAN – Russia hopes to finalize work on a bilateral visa-free regime for certain tourist groups with Iran in the near future, but says the time for its implementation depends on the situation of coronavirus pandemic in the two countries. 

“We hope this work will be finished soon and the agreement will come into force,” Tass quoted Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying on Thursday.

“The decision for implementing the agreement would depend on the epidemic situation in Russia and Iran and on coronavirus lockdown measures in the two countries.”

Russia’s Federal Tourism Agency is working with the Iranian partners on mechanisms of the implementation of the arrangements under the agreement, she added.

Head of the Iranian Tour Operators Association Ebrahim Pourfaraj said earlier this month that new rounds of negotiations have been commenced between Iranian tour operators, travel marketers, and their Russian counterparts.

According to Pourfaraj, a majority of potential Russian travelers are unaware of vast tourist attractions that exist in every corner of Iran: “The fact is that Iran’s political and economic relations with Russia are considered as good, but this has nothing to do with attracting tourists because it is directly connected with the Russian people. It is the Russian people who must choose Iran as their destination.

The agreement on visa-free group tourist trips was signed on March 28, 2017, during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Moscow.


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