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Russian Envoy Downplays Statement On Visa Regime For Central Asians


Travelers, including Kyrgyz migrants, at a Moscow train station (file photo)
The Russian Foreign Ministry's special envoy, Anvar Azimov, is downplaying his statement regarding Russia's possible plans to introduce a visa regime for citizens of Central Asian countries by 2015.

Talking to RFE/RL on March 14, Azimov said that in his previous comments to Russia's independent "Dozhd" television channel, he meant that citizens of Central Asian countries would be allowed to enter Russia only with passports instead of internal identification documents after 2015.

Azimov added that citizens of Customs Union and Common Economic Space member states will continue using internal identification documents for entry to Russia.

The Customs Union and Common Economic Space member-states are Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

Some State Duma lawmakers have lobbied for the introduction of visas for Central Asians, saying it would help curb drug trafficking.