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Dimitry Kochenov on the Regulation of Visa-Free Stays

“It is a political question whether people will be checked, and which people will be,” Dimitry Kochenov, lead researcher of our Rule of Law Workgroup told BBC Serbia.

The article covers how many Russian citizens stay in Serbia for a longer period. Russian citizens can stay visa-free in the country for 30 days. Many then do a short trip to another country just to get the stamp in their passport, and then return.

It is not illegal, but it is usually tolerated for a limited period - in most countries, it is a 90-day visa-free stay in a 180-day period, Dimitry Kochenov explained. "However, it is a matter of political decision of the state whether to check it - in the European Union, there are almost no checks for people of some nationalities, while other nationalities are strictly checked," he added.

He also argued that “the behavior of the border police towards foreigners should not depend on the passenger's passport,” and continued that "citizenship is obtained by birth, not by merit, and cannot be a basis for disqualification," says the expert.

He also talked about the different approaches by different countries. "America counts every day - if you exceed the limited period, it can later disqualify you when you apply for a visa," he said, adding that EU policy varies depending on the nationality of the travelers.

Read the full article (in Serbian) here.

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