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Foreign Ministry Proposes Fingerprinting Russian Visa Applicants

Published: January 24, 2014 (Issue # 1794)




  • Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Foreign Ministry has proposed scanning the fingerprints of people applying for Russian entry visas from July 1, 2014, in the interests of "national security."

Under the pilot project, applicants will have all of their fingerprint patterns scanned at Russian consulates in Britain, Denmark, Myanmar, and Namibia, and at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport, according to the draft presidential decree, posted Wednesday on the unified government legislation portal.

The ministry must notify the countries whose citizens would be affected by the pilot project by June 15, 2014.

The draft decree did not say how long the pilot project would last or when other countries would be made subject to it.

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A note accompanying the decree said that the measure will improve the ability of Russia's security services to clamp down on illegal migration and prevent terrorist suspects from entering the country.

The authorities have stepped up their attempts to thwart terrorists in the wake of two bombings in the southern city of Volgograd in December that resulted in the deaths of at least 34 people.

The accompanying note also described the draft legislation as a "timely response" to the European Union's plans to next year start taking the fingerprints of Russians applying for visas to its member states.

The bloc has repeatedly put off plans for a visa-free regime with Russia, citing the country's poor human rights record as a reason to delay the deal, which has been ongoing for more than ten years.

Russia's Federation Council last month approved a law making it mandatory for all Russians applying for an international passport to provide fingerprints starting Jan. 1, 2015. The information will be stored in a chip embedded in travelers' passports.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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