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Baltic states to introduce new travel rules for Russia

MOSCOW, December 31 (RIA Novosti) - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will introduce new travel rules for Russian nationals starting next year, Russia's Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

According to the ministry, Estonia will relax its visa regulations for Russians and other non-EU nationals. From January 1, 2006, those applying for tourist visas valid under five days will not have to submit a formal invitation from an Estonian resident.

Russian visitors to Latvia will next year have to declare cash in amounts exceeding 10,000 euros.

Russians traveling through Lithuania to or from the Russian Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad will be requested to orally declare their luggage when they cross the Lithuanian border.

According to the ministry, Lithuanian customs authorities assured the new rules would not further complicate the transit, which has been a point of contention between Moscow and Vilnius since the European Union's expansion last year.

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