Russia To Drop Visa Requirements For Foreign Athletes Ahead Of Olympics, World Cup
The Kremlin announced Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin "has signed a decree waiving the visa requirement for foreign athletes, coaches and other staff" attending int'l sports events in Russia, according to Ria Novosti of the MOSCOW NEWS. Athletes are to pour into Russia over the next five years, "with next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2018 football World Cup the two biggest draws." A Kremlin statement said, "Participants in international sporting competition … can enter and exit the Russian Federation without applying for visas on the basis of existing documents that confirm their identity and are accepted by the Russian Federation." The decree "goes into effect immediately" (MOSCOW NEWS, 5/13). REUTERS' Gennady Fyodorov wrote the government would publish a list of int'l sporting events and regulations "on how long foreigners may remain in the country." The Kremlin added that participants "must carry a valid passport and official accreditation from local organizers to qualify for visa-free status" (REUTERS, 5/13).