Indo-Russian Relations
Daily coverage of what makes ties between Delhi & Moscow ever-lasting — even in times of western sanctions.

Visa-Free Tourist Groups From India Can Visit Russia From 2025

© Sputnik / Natalia Seliverstova / Go to the mediabankPeople doing selfie in Red Square, Moscow
People doing selfie in Red Square, Moscow - Sputnik India, 1920, 09.06.2024
India and Russia are focusing on expanding people-to-people contacts, with the latter ensuring that visitors from the South Asian nation can have visa-free travel there.
Visa-free tourists from India will be able to visit Russia starting June 2025, the Eurasian nation's Ministry of Economic Development said on Saturday.
"We have already launched a visa-free group mechanism with China and Iran on a permanent basis and it works well," Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects Director Nikita Kondratyev told Sputnik at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), but "with Indian partners, things are now more complicated."
He said Moscow had prepared a similar draft agreement which the Indian government was considering.
The Russia official added that both sides were currently negotiating the terms of the deal with the first group of visa-free Indians set to visit Russia in the Spring of next year.
"The document is undergoing internal approval. After this, in June — late July, we will begin the negotiation process. It will last from a month to three," Kondratyev noted. "But we set ourselves the task of signing an agreement by the end of 2024."
Based on his experience of negotiating visa deals with China and Iran, he said any agreement would be followed by "a month or two for explanatory work."
"We work with border control authorities, hotels, and after that the groups begin to travel" at first with test groups, Kondratyev explained. "If we understand that the mechanism works and all the problems have been eliminated, then we launch a massive flow of tourist groups."
Kondratyev's comments come amid growing cooperation between India and Russia in multiple areas, especially in tourism and film production.
Recently, a top Indian director said Russia was emerging as a prominent destination for filmmakers from the South Asian country.
"This makes for a win-win collaboration for both the nations. Filming in Russia not only adds an international appeal to Indian films but also contributes to the promotion of Russian tourism," Dasha Kotwani, director of Indian Films and Indian National Cultural Centre SITA, told Sputnik India earlier this week.
Moscow Film Delegation's India Visit Sets the Stage for International Movie Collaboration - Sputnik India, 1920, 27.04.2024
Indo-Russian Relations
Moscow Film Delegation's Visit to India Sets Stage for Movie Collaboration
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