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Visa waiver with Russia set to come into effect

All Headlines 16:26 December 14, 2009

SEOUL, Dec. 14 (Yonhap) -- An agreement between South Korea and Russia on simplifying visa issuances for short-term trips will go into effect next month, as the two sides have completed related domestic procedures, officials here said Monday.

"The South Korea-Russia pact on the simplification of short-term visa issuance will take effect on Jan. 9, 2010, as domestic procedures in the two countries have been completed," foreign ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young said.

Under the deal signed in 2008, South Korea and Russia will drastically cut the time needed for a visa issuance by scrapping various red-tape procedures. Citizens in the two countries will also be allowed to apply for a visa in a third country.

The deal also calls for the exemption of visa fees for official delegations and those hoping to study or attend cultural and sporting events in one of the two countries. People who want to visit relatives in either nation will also be exempted from the fees.

"Human exchanges between the two nations are expected to grow as people from both sides will be able to visit the other nation more conveniently," the ministry said in a press release.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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