03 October 2009, 08:00
Russia and Abkhazia agree on visa-free travels
On October 2, Heads of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Russia and Abkhazia Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Shamba signed an agreement on visa-free travels, which will allow Abkhazians and Russians crossing their border not only by foreign documents, but also by their domestic passports. It is expected that the agreement will come into force in 30 days.
According to Mr Lavrov, the signed agreement assumes a visa-free entrance and stay in each other's territory for the period of up to 90 days. "The agreement will cover not only the holders of passports for travelling abroad, but also those with internal (national) passports, children up to 14 with birth certificates, and holders of seaman's certificates. It's as much as possible preferential regime," the Russian Minister has explained.
De-facto, citizens of Russia could come to Abkhazia without foreign passports before, and those who visited the republic by their foreign documents, not always received their border-crossing mark.