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Russia to launch pilot program to fingerprint visa applicants


Russian embassies and consulates in Britain, Denmark, Myanmar and Namibia will launch a pilot program this January that makes it mandatory for all visa applicants to submit their fingerprints, according to the Moscow Times.

Citing the Foreign Ministry’s consular division, Interfax reported that the four countries will begin implementing fingerprinting technology in January 2015.

The project is designed to measure the feasibility of gathering biometric information at other Russian diplomatic and consular facilities, said Yevgeny Ivanov, the director of the Foreign Ministry’s consular department.

Though the program has been in discussion for several years, it was not originally supposed to include stricter requirements for Russian visa applicants, said Ivanov.

Additionally, Schengen countries will initiate the biometric data collection process for all Russian visa applicants beginning next year.

Reported previously, a Russian MP is preparing a new bill that will recommend new security measures to make it mandatory for all international visitors to be fingerprinted on arrival in Russia and have the information stored in a single database.

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