Russia restores visa-free travel for Turkish passport holders

Russia Turkey

Visa-free travel between newly allied Russia and Turkey came into effect on Aug 7, revealed by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

The facility is valid on a reciprocal basis for official and service passport holders as well as for international transport drivers and also includes Turkish special passport holders, according to the statement put forward by Foreign Ministry.

“The agreement on visa exemption signed on May 12, 2010 was partially re-enacted as of Aug. 7, 2019. We expect the full implementation of the agreement,” according to the statement.

Russia had suspended the visa-free travel in late 2015, amid tensions after the downing of a Russian fighter near the Turkish-Syrian border.

This July, Russian President Putin ordered the Foreign Ministry to send a notification to Turkish officials about reinitiating the visa-free travel.

“The Russian move allowing visa-free travel to Turkish citizens is a result of warm relations and dialogue,” Turkish President Erdogan greeted Russia’s decision.

The newly developed relationships between NATO closest ally Turkey and the United States old rival Russia started after Turkey’s decision to buy Russian made S-400 Air Defense system, neglecting continuous warnings including threats of sanctions and expulsion from F-35 stealth fighter programme, from Washington.

According to US defense officials, the Russian military could use an S-400 deployed in Turkey to collect sensitive data about the F-35 stealth aircraft, which is supposed to become the backbone of future aerial operations by Nato member states’.

Turkey disputes this, claiming that it will respect and protect the security of the F-35 by ensuring that the new S-400 system is not linked up to Turkey’s wider, Nato-Integrated Defence Architecture. The US remains unsatisfied with this proposal.

Relevant: Why Turkey’s S-400 deal bothers the US

Despite, US officials have warned Turkey of the possible sanctions and expulsion from F-35 Programme, President Tayyip Erdogan moved ahead with the deal.

I'm a Computer Science graduate from Bahria University, a travel enthusiast and CSS aspirant. I create content and write travelogues for the e-syndicate community. My content area includes International Affairs, Traveling, Technology, Climate Change, Aviation, Space Sciences and Science in general.