10 Mar 2023 16:21

Kazakhstan hoping for EU's reciprocity in visa facilitation - Foreign Ministry

ASTANA. March 10 (Interfax) - The Kazakh Foreign Ministry is hoping to begin visa facilitation negotiations with the European Union shortly.

"We are hoping for the soonest start of negotiations with the European Union on facilitation of the visa system for our citizens within the framework of the Schengen zone, as envisaged by the Agreement on Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the European Union," Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vasilenko said at a press briefing on Friday.

"We are actively working on this issue together with our European partners," he said.

According to Vasilenko, facilitation of the visa system envisages a lower cost of visas for Kazakh citizens, a shorter list of required documents, and faster issuance of visas.

He noted that Kazakhstan had implemented a visa-free system for citizens of all EU member states in 2017.

"The system was suspended for two years because of the pandemic. It was reinstated in January 2022. So, we are definitely expecting reciprocity, and this matter remains an item on the agenda of practically all negotiations that Kazakh and European representatives have," the deputy minister said.