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Abu Dhabi: Russia has exempted Emiratis from pre-entry visas as of February 17, it was announced on Sunday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced that Emiratis would no longer need pre-entry visa to travel to Russia.

The decision is effective from Sunday.

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The exemption decision by Russia follows the agreement signed on July 6, 2018 in the presence of Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Dennis Manturov, Russian Minister of Trade and Industry.

As per the agreement, UAE nationals carrying ordinary passports are exempt from obtaining pre-entry visas to travel to Russia, and Russians are exempted from obtaining pre-entry visas to visit the UAE.

Ahmad Sari Al Mazroui, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international cooperation, said the Russian government's decision is a fruition of a combination of factors that encouraged Russia to take the initiative, which undoubtedly reflects the UAE’s strong position and reputation at the international level, as well as its strong and durable network of international contacts.

The exemption is an important accomplishment to be added to the achievements attained by the UAE diplomacy led by Shaikh Abdullah.

The move also reflects the strong historical ties binding the two countries.