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Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov considers the fact that the European Union signed an agreement with Ukraine on the visa-free regime for owners of biometric passports, but did not make such a step for the Russian side, as discrimination for Russia, he mentioned in his speech before students of the Diplomatic Academy in Moscow, UKRINFORM reports.
“Quite recently, the EU signed an agreement about simplification of a regime with Ukraine, where owners of business biometric passports are exempt from the need to receive visas. And we, having knowingly refused from this, will face discrimination. When we ask in Brussels, why it is possible for Ukrainians and impossible for us, an answer was very interesting: Russia is not Ukraine. Certainly, not Ukraine, but we know that the Ukrainian official does not differ very much from the Russian official,” Lavrov said.
He stressed that such an openly discriminative approach will not suit Russia. Therefore, the Russian MFA expects that such a norm will be envisaged for the Russian party in a final wording of the agreement on simplification of the visa regime.
Lavrov noted that it may be understood that negotiators from Russia want to achieve the visa-free regime from their officials, but the issue is that such precedents already exist.
At the same time, he said that on the part of Russia, those advantages may be used by 15 thousand officials, and on the part of the EU - about 200 thousand persons.