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22 Sep, 2015 10:59

Putin wants to make Russia visa-free for BRICS

Putin wants to make Russia visa-free for BRICS

Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the government to develop visa-free travel for short-term visits and transit by foreign tourists from BRICS countries, reported the Kremlin website on Tuesday. The deadline to submit proposals is set for October 30.

The BRICS bloc comprises five developing economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Putin has also asked to make legislative changes that will increase the number of Russian ports that allow foreign sea travelers’ entry to Russia.

The idea of visa-free travel within the trade bloc was first proposed in 2013 at the 5th BRICS Summit in Durban. South Africa. It has already provided business people from BRICS easier access to the country, said South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba in February.

Among the main projects of the group is the BRICS New Development Bank that opened for operations in Shanghai on July 21 aimed at deploying $50 billion in initial capital to bankroll infrastructure and sustainable development projects. Another is the development of a $100 billion currency reserve pool, intended to protect national currencies from volatility in global markets.