Russia and Kuwait have announced their intention to completely eliminate visa requirements for their citizens.
This announcement followed negotiations between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Kuwaiti counterpart, Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
“We agreed today to think about preparing an intergovernmental agreement on the complete abolition of visa requirements for citizens of our countries,” Lavrov said during a press conference.
He emphasized their eagerness to expedite the process, indicating that both nations intend to sign the agreement in the near future.
This decision is expected to enhance tourism between the two countries, as Kuwaiti citizens have shown an increasing interest in visiting Russia. Lavrov highlighted a significant surge in Kuwaiti tourists, with the number of visitors increasing tenfold since the beginning of the year.
“Most likely, the fact that we launched direct flights from Moscow to Kuwait in February played a positive role,” he noted.
Previously, it was reported that Russia had proposed the cancellation of tourist visas for five countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Malaysia, and Kuwait. According to Deputy Minister of Economic Development Dmitry Vakhrukov, this could potentially be achieved as early as 2024.
This move is part of a broader initiative by Russia, which has also extended similar proposals to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, and Malaysia. Deputy Minister of Economic Development Dmitry Vakhrukov expressed optimism about implementing a visa-free regime with these countries as early as 2024. The plan aims to facilitate smoother travel for citizens of these nations to Russia and vice versa, potentially attracting a considerable influx of tourists, especially during the summer season.
However, despite these positive developments, Russian tourism industry faced challenges in 2022. The war in Ukraine led to airspace restrictions, causing disruptions in international travel. Additionally, several Western countries imposed visa restrictions on Russian citizens. Safety concerns, particularly in regions near the Ukraine war zone, also deterred potential tourists.
Furthermore, payment methods posed obstacles for travelers, as major international payment systems, including Visa, MasterCard, and UnionPay, suspended operations in Russia, complicating financial transactions for tourists.