Taiwan welcomes inclusion in Russian e-visa, protests downgraded name
Taipei, June 20 (CNA) Taiwan thanked Russia Thursday for its recent decision to include the country into its e-visa program to visit the free port of Vladivostok, but protested the downgraded name Russia uses to refer to Taiwan as "China (including Taiwan)."
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said the Russian government informed Taiwan's representative office in Moscow June 19 of its decision to include Taiwan in the e-visa program.
According to the website of the Consular Department under Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an e-visa is valid for entry into and exit from Russia only through certain border-crossing points located in the territory of the free port of Vladivostok.
Air checkpoints covered by the program are Vladivostok (Knevichy Airport), Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (Yelizovo Airport), Blagoveschensk, Khabarovsk (Novy Airport), Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Khomutovo Airport), Anadyr (Ugolny Airport), Ulan-Ude (Mukhino Airport), and Chita (Kadala Airport).
Maritime checkpoints include Vladivostok, Zarubino, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Korsakov, and Posiet.
Rail checkpoints include Pogranichny, Khasan and Makhalino, while road checkpoints include Poltavka and Turiy Rog.
Russia, however, has not announced when Taiwan's inclusion will officially take effect.
Lee said Taipei is happy about Moscow's decision, which is expected to further boost bilateral exchanges.
However, MOFA has also asked Russia to correct the name it uses in the program to refer to Taiwan, Lee added.
Russia's decision came after Taiwan granted visa-free entry for Russian nationals in September 2018 that allows them visa-free visits of up to 14 days.
The visa-waiver decision resulted in an 80 percent increase of Russian travelers to Taiwan in the first quarter of 2019, compared with the same period of a year ago.
Direct flights between the two countries also resumed in May this year after they were suspended in late 2015. Royal Flight now operates one direct service per week between Taoyuan and Moscow.
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