Wien, 7. December 2005 Press release

Defamatory claims

07.12.2005

Ministry for Foreign Affairs on accusations concerning the issue of visas in Moscow and St. Petersburg

Vienna, 7 December 2005 - The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has the following comments to make about the media claims concerning irregularities in the issue of visas in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The source mentioned in the press reports is the owner of a travel agency who has tried on several occasions to have her business included in the Austrian Embassy in Moscow list of bona fide travel agencies. Customers of bona fide travel agencies do not need to apply to the Embassy in person for their visas, since the travel agencies handle these formalities. This means that stringent requirements are demanded of bona fide travel agencies, which the source mentioned above cannot or will not comply with. She has been expressly informed several times by the responsible bodies of the requirements that need to be met.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs strongly refutes these groundless claims.