Russia looks to Iran for tourist development, visa free agreement

Iran and Russia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to expand tourism cooperation, according to Iran’s official news agency IRNA.

The MoU was inked by Ali Asghar Shalbafian, Iranian deputy minister of cultural heritage, handicrafts, and tourism for tourism affairs, and Dmitry Vakhrukov, the deputy minister of economic development of Russia, on the sidelines of the 14th International Economic Forum “Russia-Islamic world” held in Kazan, Russia.

Under the MoU, related Iranian and Russian ministries will jointly push forward the implementation of a visa-free agreement signed in 2017 for granting visa waivers to tour groups from the two countries.

The MoU is also aimed at, among other things, enhancing bilateral tourism cooperation and boosting tourism exchange between the two sides, including the exchange of tourism experts, as well as experiences and information sharing.

Shalbafian said at the signing ceremony that Russia could become a high-priority tourism market for Iran.

Vakhrukov, for his part, expressed hope that Iranian tourists could be granted visa-free entry to Russia as of summer, noting that Iranian citizens are able to obtain electronic visas for traveling to Russia starting from June 22. ■

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