Russia welcomed 5.1 million tourists in 2019, relaxes visa rules for EU citizens

Published on : Wednesday, February 19, 2020


 From 2021, Russia, the world’s biggest country will relax its draconian visa rules but it will not be for the visitors from the UK.


It was announced by the Association of Tour Operators of Russia that in 2019 it received 5.1 million overseas tourists which was one-fifth more than the previous year. This was during the World Cup in Russia.



In 2020 the visitors numbers will plummet and Kremlin will be imposing a ban on Chinese citizens due to the coronavirus outbreak.



From January 1, 2021 a new online visa will be available and will remain valid for travel anywhere in the country for up to 16 days.  Russia expects that the shortfall will be compensated by tourists from 53 countries.


Short stay in both St. Petersburg and Moscow would be covered along with a leisure trip along the Trans-Siberian Railway to the Pacific.



For the current e-visas for specific regions of Russia the UK visitors are excluded.


For specific regional visas to three location in Russia, like St.Petersburg, the exclave of Kaliningrad ( between Poland and Lithuania) and the country’s Far East at present some foreign visitors qualify.


The European Union citizens can avail this but not the British.


The current e-visa scheme has permissible points of entry which is a limitation and the nationwide e-visa schemed will add more flexibility.



The UK has tightened its entrance requirements and the progressive relaxation of visa regimes elsewhere in Europe is welcomed.



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