Russian Foreign Ministry names main results of 2019

Russian Foreign Ministry names main results of 2019

The Russian Foreign Ministry summed up the main results of 2019.

According to the ministry, the Normandy Quartet’s summit in Paris allowed for achieving shifts in settling the conflict in Ukraine. "Shifts were achieved in settling the intra-Ukrainian conflict. After a three-year pause a Normandy Quartet summit was held in Paris in December. Proceeding from humanitarian considerations Russia eased the procedure of granting citizenship to the population of some districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions," the ministry said in a commentary.

In addition, the ministry noted that U.S. domestic policy strife has hindered the development of constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington. "We have maintained contact in the sphere of counterterrorism and on some regional issues, including the situation in Syria, Afghanistan and the Korean Peninsula," the foreign ministry added.

The Russian diplomats added that Russia’s offer to prolong the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), which is set to expire on February 5, 2021, remains on the table.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that number of countries that do not require Russian passport holders to obtain their visas has increased from 82 to 89 in 2019. The bilateral agreements on visa-free entry using ordinary passports and 90-day stay have come into force this year with St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Costa Rica, Dominica, Suriname, the Maldives, Palau and the United Arab Emirates. Moreover, the number of states whose residents can travel to Russia visa-free increased to 57.