Native Alaskans given right to travel visa-free to Russia

Following an intergovernmental agreement, some Native Alaskans will travel to Russia’s Chukotka region without visa requirements

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Under an intergovernmental agreement between the US and Russia, traveling from both sides of the Bering Straits Region will be visa-free.

The visa-free travels will be carried out with a special passport insert issued to indigenous Alaskans.

Along with a passport, the programme requires documented invitations from relatives or residents from the destination of travel.

Vera Metcalf, a native leader who works with the State Department in Nome, announced on Friday that the visa-free agreement will cover up to 90 days of travel.

Metcalf, who still has many relatives in Chukotka, said "I'm excited about it."

Alaskans and Chutka natives maintain cultural links between the regions. Some natives still have relatives on the other side of the strait.

For the past three years, Alaskan natives have been required to obtain a visa to visit Chukotka, while indigenous people on the Russian side did not due to a pact that was signed by the both countries in 1989.

In Alaska, entry checkpoints were set up in Nome and Gambell, while Russia’s are in Anadyr, Provideniya, Lavrentiya and Uelen, RT reported.


TRTWorld and agencies