Bulgaria to Issue Visas to Russian Tourists Right on the BorderTourism | January 23, 2013, Wednesday // 19:09| views
Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov. File photo by BGNES
Bulgaria's government plans to start issuing visas for Russian tourists right at its border crossing points, Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov has announced.
Djankov reminded Wednesday in an interview for the Russian paper "Rossiyskaya Gazeta" that as of January 2012 Bulgaria lets in Russian holders of Schengen visas even though it is not technically part of the Schengen Area yet.
Bulgaria's Finance Minister believes that it is a huge issue for Bulgarian-Russian ties that only a single Russian airline – Aeroflot – is entitled to fly to Bulgaria, which keeps the ticket prices very high – about EUR 600.
"The expensive tickets also hinder Bulgarian tourists wishing to visit Russia," Djankov is quoted as saying.
"We have been negotiating with the Russian government for more than a year about how to make Russia more open to Bulgarians. We would like to expand the number of entitled airlines, which I hope will bring cheaper tickets," he added.
Some 600 000 Russians, mostly tourists, are estimated to have visited Bulgaria in 2012.