Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided that visitors from friendly states can remain in Russia for 2 weeks without a visa. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russia’s State Duma (Parliament) introduced a bill that would allow foreigners to stay for two weeks in Russia without an entry visa.

The authors of the bill believe that the initiative will allow foreign guests to get acquainted with Russia in more detail. They said that this measure is vital for Russia against the backdrop of its ‘oppression with anti-Russian sanctions’.

In a rather bizarre twist, the authors of the bill want to allow only foreigners from “friendly states” to remain in Russia visa-free for two weeks. Which countries will be regarded as “friendly” will be decided by the Russian government. Deputies are proposing to add Austria, Germany and Italy to this list for their support of Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

Since April 2017, South Africans, however, do not require visas to visit Russia. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation said in a statement that South African citizens travelling to Russia without the intention of working, studying or living in the country will be free from visa requirements and can enter, stay or transit without a visa for a duration of up to 90 days.