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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

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although thesand sculptures at the Peter and Paul Fortress are more centrally located and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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