YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—The Armenian government plans to unilaterally lift visa requirements for citizens of the United States travelling to Armenia, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Manasarian announced on Thursday.
“It is expected that we will essentially do what has been done with the European Union,” Manasarian told lawmakers in Yerevan.
Manasarian referred to a visa facilitation agreement with the EU that took effect in January. The agreement signed in late 2012 eased the EU’s stringent requirements for some categories of Armenians travelling to Europe. Earlier in 2012, Yerevan allowed citizens of EU member states to enter Armenia and stay there visa-free for up to 90 days.
According to Manasarian, Armenia is currently engaged in a similar “very interesting process” with the U.S. “That shows that the level of our relations with the U.S. is really rising,” he said during parliamentary hearings.
Armenia’s visa procedures for much of the outside world have been quite simple since the late 1990s. U.S. citizens, many of them ethnic Armenians, have been able to easily get visas not only at Armenian consulates abroad but also the country’s border crossings and airports.