ArmInfo.Director of the Institute of the Caucasus Alexander Iskandaryan does not rule out the start of the second round of talks on visa liberalization between Armenia and the European Union after the Eastern Partnership Summit in November.
"The question of liberalizing the visa regime for Armenia in an optimistic version is not lost. Perhaps the start of the second round of talks will be announced at the Brussels Summit of the Eastern Partnership in November, or immediately after it, let us say until the new year or just after the new year. I believe that the probability of this is great. But again, even if negotiations are launched, it is a long process that will last for years. Another thing we are not Ukraine or Georgia, we are more organized, and there are technical possibilities for more rapid negotiations, but it will take several years. Legislation will be harmonized, technical issues will be resolved," Iskandaryan said at a news conference in Yerevan on September 13, answering the ArmInfo question as to how likely it is for the foreseeable future to start a dialogue on the second stage of the liberalization of the visa regime between Armenia and the EU.
To note, on December 17, 2012 an agreement was signed on simplifying the visa regime between Armenia and the EU, which came into force on January 1, 2014. The agreement accelerated the procedure for issuing visas in the consulates of the European Union countries located in Yerevan. Now the decision on the visa is taken within ten days, and in case of emergency - for two or less days. In addition, the agreement also provides for a shortening of the list of documents required for obtaining a visa. The price of the visa after the signing of the agreement was reduced to thirty-five euros against the sixty euros that were given to tourists prior to ratification of the agreement. Another significant plus of the simplified visa regime is a free visa issued to children under the age of twelve, as well as persons with disabilities and persons accompanying them. This document provides for the introduction of a simplified procedure for obtaining visas for entry into the Schengen area for members of official delegations, journalists, businessmen, scientists, athletes, schoolchildren and students, close relatives of citizens of the European Union, as well as for people who go to the countries of the European Union for treatment. Participants in various international conferences, exchange programs and other social events of international character will also be able to receive visas under a simplified regime. In general, the list of various categories of population that will be able to visit the European Union through a simplified scheme is quite extensive. The process of providing multivisa, which was previously too complex and lengthy, is also facilitated. Citizens of Armenia with diplomatic passports are exempted at all from the need to obtain a visa. The simplification of the visa issuance scheme also affected the length of stay of Armenian citizens on the territory of the European Union. Now this period is ninety days for each period of one hundred and eighty days. At the same time, an agreement on readmission was also signed.
ArmInfo. On the occasion of Diplomat's Day, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and met with the staff of the Ministry, Heads of Armenia's representations and consular offices abroad.