The Indo-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industries has entered into a memorandum of understanding with a visa-issuing agency at Moscow to speed up the processing time of business and tourist visas. As per the agreement, visas for trade and tourism would be completed within 96 hours. Currently, the processing time is 20 to 22 days.

“We have been receiving requests from corporate agencies to ease the visa hardships. Cutting down the processing time will boost the business exchange between the countries,” P.Thangappan, Secretary of the Chamber told The Hindu.

Additionally, in an attempt to promote trade and tourism between India and Russia and make tour packages to Russia more affordable, the Chamber has introduced a fortnightly holiday package from Chennai to Russia.

The six-days-five-nights holiday package, which comes at a cost of Rs.1.3 lakh per person, is part of a series of initiatives taken by the Chamber to promote culture and tourism of Russia in India. The tour package, being organised by the Chamber, is for a minimum of two persons. The package includes sightseeing in Moscow and St. Petersburg. “This is the first time the Chamber has come up with an initiative of this kind, said Mr. Thangappan.

The Chamber would also conduct a student-exchange programme organised in collaboration with the Indo-Russian Friendship Society and Moscow State Youth Organisation, he added. Fifteen youths from Tamil Nadu, particularly those hailing from tier-two or three cities, would attend a five-day seminar at Moscow.

Selection for the delegation would begin from December and the seminar is slated for May.