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Russia-Maldives visa exemption comes in force

Nationals of both countries will be allowed to stay visa-free for 90 days.



An agreement signed between the Maldives and Russia to allow visa-free travel for up to 90 days came into force on Thursday.

Maldivians travelling to Russia will be allowed to enter, stay in and transit through Russia without obtaining a visa.

“This applies for all Maldivian nationals holding valid travel documents and not intending to work, study or reside in the territory of the Russian Federation,” the Maldives foreign ministry explained.

“It is important that all travellers ensure that they have with them confirmed hotel bookings, return tickets and adequate funds while travelling to Russia.”

Russian tourists can also stay in the Maldives for 90 days without a visa. Russia is among the top markets for the Maldives tourism industry with more than 38,000 tourist arrivals last year.

The visa exemption agreement was signed in late June after Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow. The pair discussed expanding trade ties as well as cooperation in human resource development, tourism, climate change and counter-terrorism, the foreign ministry said at the time.

Trade between the Maldives and Russia stood at US$3.35 million in 2018 with exports from Russia accounting for US$3.32 million.

Russia is the fourth country to ease visa requirements for Maldivians since the new administration took office in November.

Thailand approved visa-free entry for a 30-day period with effect from April 14.

The United Arab Emirates authorised a 30-day on-arrival visa for Maldivian from January 1 onward and a visa liberalisation agreement with India came into force on March 10.