Macedonia Lifts Visa Curbs for Russians


The Macedonian government is to scrap the visa requirements for visitors from Russia over the summer in a bid to boost tourism in the country, according to reports. Macedonia announced the curbs will be lifted until mid-October, the Balkan Travellers website reported. The country is the fourth in the Balkans to drop its visa requirements for Russians during the tourist season in a bid to lure more holidaymakers. The Albanian government decided in May to allow visa-free access to all citizens of the Russian Federation between May 30 and October 31 for tourism and private visits for a period of up to 90 days. Croatia announced in March it would continue its policy implemented the previous year allowing Russian tourists to visit the country without requiring visas, following a drop in tourism revenues of 11 per cent in 2009. Bulgaria – which is restricted by regulations of the European Union and the Schengen zone - eased its visa requirements for Russian tourists in June following protests by Bulgarian tourist organisations over the introduction of stricter and more complicated visa regulations. Russia and Turkey signed an agreement around May for the mutual removal of visa requirements for the two countries’ citizens. Russian tourists form a significant number of foreign visitors and holidaymakers in the Balkans region.