Albania wants to boost its tourism, offering unilateral visa-free travel for Russians as well as announcing a draft law which stipulates that people who invest USD 200,000 in the country will receive citizenship.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov echoed concerns that the European Union is stalling on a decision on the long awaited EU-Russia free visa issue. Lavrov, speaking at a meeting of the Association of European Businesses last Monday, suggested the delays have been purely political.
Biometric IDs in Ukraine appear to be on the way in. A draft law there providing for the creation of a unified state register of every Ukrainian citizen has passed fist scrutiny there. Reportedly a measure to beef up border security between Ukraine and the EU, citizens traveling abroad may feel a bit like Big Brother is watching via a built-in proximity chip keeping tabs on each citizen.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offers a ray of sunshine for those who want a free-visa zone between the EU and Russia. At a press conference the Minister told reporters Russia and the EU are much closer to an agreement. So far the EU has stonewalled every attempt by the Kremlin to free up travel and tourism between Russia and the rest of Europe.
Travel and tourism for Russia is up this year despite slow progress on the free visa issue. The EU’s apparent stalling of Russia on free travel is holding up what could be a boom for the industry worldwide. Business between the EU and the Russian Federation could take many countries out of the recession with expanded cooperation, so just why the EU is holding back makes little sense to many.