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Russia, Israel agree to be visa-free

Russia and Israel have reached a tentative agreement on the establishment of a visa-free regime.

The two countries reached the deal during bilateral talks in Moscow on Tuesday, according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry. No dates were announced for the start of the regime. The two governments have been working on the deal since Sept. 16, when Israel convened a special commission to speak with Moscow on the topic

According to a report on Itar-Tass, the Israeli Tourism Ministry expects the tourist flow from Russia to increase to 25 million within the next three years as a result of the deal.

Israel Radio quoted Tourism Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch as saying he hopes to expand the visa-exemption deal to western Europe.

Jewish Agency for Israel chairman Zeev Bielsky welcomed the agreement between Moscow and Jerusalem, saying it would encourage more young Russian Jews to visit their ancestral homeland.

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