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Moscow, Beijing Discuss Simplifying Visa Procedures For Chinese Tourists

© Sputnik / Evgeny Yepanchintsev / Go to the mediabankTourist train "The Great Tea Road Manchuria - Siberia"
Tourist train The Great Tea Road Manchuria - Siberia - Sputnik International
Russia and China have agreed to kick-start the work to simplify visa procedures for Chinese tourists visiting Russia, Russian Federal Tourism Agency (Rosturism) head Oleg Safonov said Thursday.

Putting together reinforcement for bridge pillars. File photo - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) Earlier on Thursday, Safonov met with China National Tourism Administration Chairman Li Jinzao to discuss changing bilateral agreements to lower the limit on visa-free group travel to Russia from five to three people.

"China has supported our proposal, we talked about when the changes can be implemented," Safonov said.

The sides also agreed to work towards simplifying visa procedures and reducing the price of Russian visas for Chinese tourists, which are currently priced at 10,000 rubles (some $156), the Rosturism head added, noting that discussions on introducing multiple-entry and long-term visas also took place.

In May, a deputy head of Rosturism said that the number of Chinese tourists traveling to Russia in organized groups increased by 47 percent in the first four months of 2016. According to the recent data by Russia's tourism agency, 1.36 million Chinese tourists visited Russia in 2015.

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