Russia slams Canada's new visa rules
Russia protested on Friday against a new visa application form issued by Canada, complaining it will "seriously complicate" the application process for Russians and could provoke reciprocal measures.
"The modified Canadian form goes beyond the conventional criteria, and its adoption goes against the global tendency to ease visa regimes," foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said at a briefing.
The new form will "make the process for Russian citizens to receive Canadian visas much harder," he added.
Russian tourist operators earlier this week complained that the form, required for visa applicants outside Canada, asks for information that is illegal for Russian citizens to disclose.
Applicants are asked to provide details about military service, including location of the military unit and name of the commanding officer.
The new form, which will be used from Monday, is much more complex than the form that Canadians fill in to apply for a Russian visa, Nesterenko complained.
Russia will discuss the form with Canada during talks on consular and visa issues, he said.
"If some tangible progress is not achieved, we don't rule out using reciprocal measures towards Canadian citizens planning a visit to Russia," he said.
© 2010 AFP