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Moscow wants visa talks completed by next Russia-EU summit


London, July 25 (RIA Novosti, Alexander Smotrov) - The Russian government hopes talks on relaxed travel rules for its citizens visiting the European Union will be completed by the next Russia-EU summit, scheduled for October 4.

The prospect seems quite realistic, provided that the sides have enough political will to follow through on their plans, said Yuri Fedotov, the Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

"Work is also underway on a readmission agreement, which the European Union wants signed simultaneously" with the one on relaxed travel regulations, the diplomat said, adding that it would be wrong to judge the October summit just by the number of documents signed.

"Interaction between Russia and the EU has developed a cruising velocity by now and needs no additional artificial impetus," he said.

The energy sector is one of the areas where closer cooperation could benefit all the sides involved, Fedotov said.

Other top priorities of the EU-Russia dialogue include preventing discrimination against ethnic Russians in Latvia and Estonia, facilitating Russian nationals' travel to the Russian Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, relaxing travel rules for Russian visitors to EU countries and, ultimately, canceling the visa regime altogether, removing barriers and protective measures in trade, and encouraging European nations to make heavier investment in the Russian economy.

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