ArmInfo. Armenia seeks as soon as possible to begin a dialogue with the European Union on visa liberalization. Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan stated this at a press conference in Yerevan on September 6.
The Armenian minister recalled that the deadline for starting the dialogue is 2020, which is clearly stated in the final declaration of the Eastern Partnership summit. "But, our task is not to start this dialogue not in 2020, but as soon as possible. We are actively working on this issue at all the platforms. I responsibly declare that the beginning of a dialogue on visa facilitation between Armenia and the EU is an important priority for me, and it's important for us to achieve a breakthrough in this matter, "the Armenian Foreign Minister summed up.
To note, on December 17, 2012, an agreement on visa facilitation was signed between Armenia and the EU, which entered into force on January 1, 2014. The agreement accelerated the procedure for issuing visas at the consulates of the EU countries located in Yerevan. The price of a visa after signing the agreement was reduced to thirty-five euros against sixty euros, which tourists paid before ratification of the agreement. The process of providing multi-visas, which previously was unnecessarily complicated and lengthy, was also facilitated. And Armenian citizens with diplomatic passports are completely exempted from the need to obtain a visa. The simplification of the visa issuance scheme also affected the length of stay of Armenian citizens in the territory of the EU countries. Now this period is ninety days for each period of one hundred and eighty days. In parallel with this, a readmission agreement was signed.
For several years now, the Armenian side has been insisting on the need for a transition to the second stage of the implementation of the agreement, liberalization of the entry regime, but the EU, for various reasons, delays the start of dialogue. Yerevan is inclined to believe that a political solution is needed to start a dialogue.