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Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Claims Armenia’s Visa-Free Travel Deal With EU Would Have Negative Impact on the Country


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia has said that a visa-free travel agreement between Armenia and the European Union would have a negative impact on Armenia.

According to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, if such a deal is reached a high number of young Armenians would leave the country, leading to a brain drain.

The same stressed that the agreement would affect Armenia’s security and economy, as several jobs would be left unfilled in the country, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

A visa-free regime with the EU would lead to a substantial outflow of young and economically active people to Europe.

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Making such a statement on the matter, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said to TASS that they have seen many similar examples in the past.

According to the Ministry, a high number of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine nationals, among others, have already left their country for an EU nation following the visa liberalisation.

Stressing that this will also be the case for Armenia, the Ministry suggested that the country chooses to keep its economy safe instead of reaching a visa-free travel agreement with the EU.

Despite Russia’s opinion on the matter, Armenia has been working on concluding a deal with the EU for some years now.

EU Discussing Options With Armenia to Begin Visa Liberalisation Dialogue

The Commission of the European Union confirmed earlier in February that the authority is already discussing options with Armenia in commencing the visa liberalisation dialogue.

Jutta Urpilainen who serves as the EU Commissioner for International Relationships said that they had been working on delivering a clear message on the matter.

In an address in a plenary session, she said that the message is that Armenia is all ready to move closer to the EU. She further suggested that the authorities are working on strengthening the relations and making it easier for Armenians to enter the bloc.

Highlighting the importance of people-to-people contacts, Urpilainen said that options have already been on the table.

For enhanced people-to-people contact, we are discussing options to start a visa liberalisation dialogue.

EU Commissioner for International Relationships Jutta Urpilainen

Additionally, she said that the relations between the EU and Armenia have never been stronger and at the same time highlighted that the visa-free deal would send an important message to Armenian citizens.

Armenia currently has a Visa Facilitation Agreement with the EU. Under the agreement, Armenian passport holders are subject to facilitated rules when applying for Schengen visas and to lower visa fees.

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