Bulgarian MPs Vote to Keep Visa Regime for Russian Nationals
The visa regime for short-term stay of up to 90 days in Bulgaria for Russian nationals will remain in place.
On Wednesday Bulgaria’s parliamentary economic policy and tourism committee voted down a proposal of nationalist party Ataka to lift the visa requirements for Russian nationals due to the projected decrease in the number of tourists from that country in the summer season.
The draft decision of Ataka was submitted in March and was referred to two parliamentary committees, the foreign policy committee and the economic policy and tourism committee, both of which rejected the proposal, according to reports of the BGNES news agency.
Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry and the Foreign Ministry also issued statements opposing the abolition of the visa requirements for Russian nationals.
According to Foreign Ministry experts, the draft decision put forth by Ataka is incompatible with Bulgaria’s EU Accession Treaty, with binding provisions of EU law, and a provision of Bulgaria’s Constitution.
The Foreign Ministry experts underscore that the decrease in arrivals from Russia is substantially lower than the rate projected in March.
They also insist that the visa regime has no impact on the decrease in the number of Russian tourists.
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