India and Russia Eye Visa-Free Tourism Boost

In a move poised to enhance tourism between India and Russia, the two nations are preparing for critical discussions on establishing visa-free tourist exchanges. These talks, reported by Sputnik, are set to begin in June, aiming to significantly increase tourism flow and strengthen bilateral ties.

Nikita Kondratyev, Director of the Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects at Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development, announced the details at the Russia-Islamic World: KazanForum 2024. Kondratyev expressed confidence in the ongoing talks about group visa-free trips, noting that internal coordination with the Indian delegation is nearly complete.

“We are in the final stages of internal coordination with the Indian delegation and are set to discuss a draft agreement soon,” Kondratyev stated. “I anticipate that the initial consultations will take place in June to deliberate on the draft agreement, with the goal of signing it by the end of the year.”

This initiative is part of Russia’s broader strategy to enhance international tourism and cultural exchanges. The Ministry of Economic Development had previously announced plans to implement visa-free exchanges with India by the end of 2024, highlighting India’s importance in Russia’s tourism and economic strategies.

Russia has already initiated similar visa-free travel agreements with China and Iran as of August 1, 2023, to facilitate group travel and strengthen ties. The prospective agreement with India is expected to create new opportunities for travelers, deepen cultural interactions, and bolster economic relations between the historically collaborative nations.