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A list of countries whose citizens do not need visas to enter the Russian Federation can be seen on the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry

A list of countries whose citizens do not need visas to enter the Russian Federation can be seen on the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry (

The Russian Foreign Ministry provides information on the availability of visa-free regime for entry to the Russian Federation in accordance with international agreements involving the Russian Federation (for all passports excluding special entry regime for border residents, crew members of aircrafts and ships, as well as international railway service crew members) as of 20 April 2012.

This information will be updated if international agreements made by the Russia Federation come into force establishing a different procedure of entry than those provided by the Federal Law of 15.08.1996 N 114-FZ "On the Procedure of Exit from and Entry to the Russian Federation."

Below is a list of countries whose citizens do not require a visa to enter the Russian Federation:

Poland-Russia local cross-border travel agreement

An agreement between Russia and Poland on the order of local border movement was ratified and signed in Moscow on December 14, 2011.

The agreement is designed to create favorable conditions for the entry and stay of residents of border areas of Russia and Poland.

The agreement states that residents of border areas will travel on the basis of a valid passport (except diplomatic, official and seaman's passport) and local border traffic permits issued by consular authorities. To obtain such a permit, the applicant must justify the need for regular visits to border areas (family ties, economic, cultural or other reasons). According to Russian and Polish legislation invitations are not required when applying for visas in such cases.

Agreement between the Russian Ministry of Justice and the Polish Ministry of Justice on cooperative procedures for civil cases

An agreement between the Russian and Polish Justice Ministries that establishes a simplified procedure for cooperation between Russian and Polish commercial courts in the framework of providing legal aid  came into effect on May 17, 2012.

The agreement is based on the treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Poland on legal assistance and relations in civil and criminal cases of September 16, 1996.

According to the agreement courts in Poland send requests for legal assistance through district courts to territorial authorities. The territorial bodies transfer the requests to a court competent to execute them in Russia.

Russia and the USA sign agreement to ease visa regime

An agreement between the U.S. and Russia to simplify the visa regime for citizens of these countries was ratified on August 10, 2012. The agreement involves an exchange of notes between 1 and November 19, 2011.

The agreement is aimed at creating more favourable travelling conditions for U.S. and Russian citizens, as well as boosting the development of economic, scientific, cultural ties between the two countries and strengthening legal bilateral relations.

The agreement includes requirements for obtaining business and tourist visas on invitation for up to 3 years for stays of up to 6 consecutive months, as well as shortening the duration of processing visa applications to 15 calendar days.

According to the agreement multiple-entry visas will be issued for up to 1 year for short-term official trips for stays up to 3 consecutive months from the date of each entry.

Russia classifies beer as alcoholic

The amendments to the Federal Law "On state regulation of production and turnover of ethyl spirit, alcohol and spirit-containing products and limitation of alcohol consumption (drinking)" entered into force on July 01, 2012. (Hereinafter - the Law "On the production and turnover of alcohol").

According to the amendments any food product containing more than 0.5% (instead of the current 1.5%) of ethyl spirit will be considered an alcoholic product. Beer is also classified as an alcoholic product as seen in paragraph 13.1 article 2 of the Law "On the production and turnover of alcohol".