Chinese, Russian cities in talks to open visa-free road travel

Chinese and Russian travellers are expected to benefit from a visa-free policy for cross-border travel between Heihe in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province and Blagoveshchensk, capital of Russia's Amur State.

Heihe government confirmed on Monday that it is in talks with the Russian side on visa-free travel.

The two cities are only 750 meters apart, separated by the Heilong River, known as Amur River in Russia.

Currently, travellers on cross-border day trips have to queue for hours for customs clearance.

Wang Ping, head of the China Chamber of Tourism, said the organization has been involved in talks on a visa-free policy and encourages the Russian region to offer accommodation catering to Chinese tourists.

Donets Andrey Ivanovich, deputy governor of Russia's Amur region, said the Amur government would apply for approval of the visa-free policy from national departments.

Galushka Alexander Sergeevich, director of the Russian Far East Development Department, said Heihe and Blagoveshchensk visa-free travel was on the agenda of the Far East development planning.

The transportation between the two cities currently depends on ferries in summer and a pontoon bridge when the river is frozen.

Construction of a permanent bridge started in 2016 after 28 years of negotiations between China and Russia. Scheduled to open in 2019, the bridge will be an important part of the China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor.

Editor: zhangjunmian
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