The ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Germany, which is part of the German coalition government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, has called for partial relief of the visa regime with Russia. This is stated in the draft of the electoral program of the political force published on May 2, which is to be approved at the congress in May.
It is noted that the facilitation of the visa regime with the Russian Federation is being considered for expanding youth exchanges between the countries.
“With regard to Russia, we stake on readiness for dialogue and cooperation. Peace in Europe is possible not against, but only with Russia. Intersocial contacts are valuable in relations with this country, the support and expansion of which we want to continue, including by facilitating the visa regime for youth exchanges, ”the document says.
The party notes that, based on the values and principles of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), “they pursue the goal of a new European” Eastern policy “, the focus of which is a common and agreed policy of the European Union towards Russia.”
“Constructive readiness for dialogue on the part of Russia is a prerequisite for defusing tensions,” the message says.
The draft also states that it is “in German and European interests” to make progress with Russia on issues of common security, disarmament and arms control, climate protection, energy and the fight against pandemics.
In July 2019, the coordinator of the German government for cooperation with Russia, Central Asia and the Eastern Partnership countries, Bundestag deputy Dirk Wiese told TASS that the participants of the Petersburg Dialogue forum, which took place near Bonn, adopted a memorandum on the prospects for simplifying or abolishing the visa regime for citizens of Germany and Russia under 25 years old.
The document covered 14 proposals for the governments of the two countries. The forum participants called for the introduction of an online system for issuing visas and invitations, simplifying the filing of appeals in case of refusals, and expanding the practice of issuing multiple-entry visas for up to five years.
In July 2020, Vize, at an online discussion between the head of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, Konstantin Kosachev, with the participants of the VI Youth Forum “Potsdam Meetings” said that Berlin is working on the issue of visa liberalization with Russia, and that the process has moved forward. He stressed that decisions on such issues are made at the EU level.