The plan signed on Monday to implement an agreement on visa-free group travels between Iran and Russia will actually take effect only after the coronavirus situation is normalized, Russian Ambassador to Iran Levan Jagarian said in an interview with TASS on Thursday.
"Given the current epidemiological situation in both Russia and Iran, it is premature to say that tourists will go soon. We need to see how the situation will develop further," he said. The ambassador noted that "the issue [of abolishing visas for group travels of tourists between Russia and Iran] is formally resolved. "However, we actually have to wait for the [epidemiological] situation to normalize," he said.
According to the diplomat, "statistics for Russia show that the situation has not yet stabilized." "In fact, the borders are still closed and there are no regular flights [between Iran and Russia]," he added.
At the same time, Jagarian noted that "[Moscow] is very interested in having Iranian tourists go to Russia." "At the peak, the number of tourists [from Iran] visiting Russia [per year] was as high as 80-90 thousand, especially when there was the 2018 World Cup in Russia. So we are extremely interested in the Iranian tourist coming back," he said.
Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Kazem Jalali said on Monday that the head of Rostourism Zarina Doguzova and the Iranian Minister of Tourism, Cultural Heritage and Handicrafts Ali Asghar Munesan signed an action plan to implement an agreement between Moscow and Tehran to abolish visas for tourist groups from the two countries. Under this agreement, tourists from both countries will be able to travel to Iran and Russia through accredited companies, with one visa for the entire group.
GSV "Russia - Islamic World"
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Based on materials from TASS