Iran, Russia to Lift Visa Requirements, Create Joint Bank: Ambassador
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Ambassador to Russia Mahdi Sanaei said on Tuesday that Tehran and Moscow are planning to lift visa requirements for tourists and businessmen as part of efforts to broaden bilateral economic cooperation.
In an interview with the Russian news agency Sputnik, Sanaei said that the two countries are considering the possibility of creating a visa-free regime for businessmen and tourists by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2015.
Sanaei went on to say that the plan is within the framework of agreements made earlier between the foreign ministries of Iran and Russia to facilitate the visa restrictions for the two countries’ citizens.
“It’s difficult for our businessmen to get a visa to Russia, especially a long-term visa, but we are happy that in 2014 our ministers (of foreign affairs), (Sergei) Lavrov and (Mohammad Javad) Zarif agreed on the easing of the visa regime, especially for businessmen and tourists,” the Iranian ambassador reiterated.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Sanaei referred to the plan for creating a joint Iran-Russia bank in a bid to facilitate bilateral trade using national currencies of the two countries.
"Both sides plan to create a joint bank, or joint account, so that payments may be made in rubles and rials and there is an agreement to create a working group (for this)," he explained.
The plans came after the two countries decided last year to strengthen their trade ties in 2015 by simplifying the exchange of their national currencies.
Back in September, Iran and Russia agreed to boost cooperation in the area of economy and use their national currencies in bilateral trade.