Kazakhstan introduces visa-free travel for the EU

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Kazakhstan says it has lifted visa requirements for citizens of countries of the European Union and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as well as a number of other states.

The Foreign Ministry said that starting January 1, citizens of EU and OECD countries, as well as Malaysia, Monaco, the United Arab Emirates, and Singapore could travel to Kazakhstan for up to 30 days without a visa.

“The policy is designed to promote an even more favorable investment climate in Kazakhstan and develop the country’s tourism potential,” a January 3 statement said.

“The paperwork required by other citizens to obtain a visa for Kazakhstan will be reduced,” it also said.

The announcement comes as Central Asia’s largest economy has been battered by low oil prices and financial distress in neighboring Russia.

Last month, Uzbekistan introduced visa-free travel for citizens from 27 countries.