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SBD Global/March 20, 2013/Olympics

Russian President Vladimir Putin Calls For Visa-Free Travel For Athletes

Russian President Vladimir Putin called for "visa-free travel for athletes and sportspeople competing in an upcoming series of major sports events in Russia," according to R-SPORT. Russia is to host competitions including next year's Winter Olympics, the 2018 FIFA World Cup and August's world athletics championships. Putin said, "It would be right if we introduced visa-free travel for all athletes who will be taking part in these competitions." Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said that the Russian government is considering a bill that would allow visa-free travel for athletes and sports officials from "non-dangerous countries." He did not say when the new bill "could be brought before parliament if approved by the cabinet." It was not immediately clear which countries could be deemed "non-dangerous" (R-SPORT, 3/19).
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