Prime minister Vladimir Putin today approved an Indo-Russian deal easing issuance of business and tourist visas to their nationals.
The Russian cabinet, chaired by Putin gave its approval to the agreement and forwarded it to the Lower House of Parliament - the State Duma - for ratification.
The inter-governmental agreement on simplification of requirements for mutual travels of certain categories of citizens was signed by India and Russia on 21 December 2010 in New Delhi.
"The agreement aims to consolidate the legal basis for Russia-India relations in the area of requirements for mutual travels of citizens and promote creation of favourable conditions for facilitation of mutual travels of certain categories of citizens of the two countries, first of all representatives of business structures, scientists, cultural workers, students and tourists," first deputy foreign minister Andrei Denisov said presenting the document at the cabinet meeting.
Citizens of the two countries holding valid passports can stay on the territory of the other country for up to 90 days within a period of 180 days, according to the cabinet press service.
Currently, individual citizens and organisations need an invitation or a tourist voucher to travel to Russia or India.
Once the deal is ratified by the parliament and signed into law by President Dmitry Medvedev, they will be able to directly apply for visas.