Russia lifts visa requirements for special passport holder Turkish citizens

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Thursday that ends visa requirements for Turkish citizens holding special and service passports, state-run Anadolu Agency reported, citing the Russian government's official website.

The decree is valid as of Thursday, Anadolu said.

The passports referred to in the decree are used by Turkish diplomats and some public servants.

Ankara and Moscow have been negotiating over implementing all articles of the visa agreement hammered out in 2010 which offered visa-free travel to Russia for all Turks.

The downing of Russian Su-24 fighter jet by the Turkish Air Force in 2015 brought cooperation between Moscow and Ankara crashing to a halt that year. Moscow imposed sanctions targeting Turkey’s economy and put an end to visa-free travel. 

Since then the two countries have been gradually drawn together, removing traces of the earlier rift and increasing cooperation. In February, Putin signed a decree to lift visa requirements for Turkish service passport holders and truck drivers travelling to Russia.