MOSCOW, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Visa lifting between the European Union (EU) and Russia is the starting point of their integration, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in his article published Thursday in a German newspaper.
According to Putin, "the genuine partnership" between Russia and EU is impossible as long as there are obstacles for human and business contacts, that is, visa regime.
"We believe waiving visas must not be the end but the beginning of the real integration process of Russia and EU," said Putin in the article carried by Suddeutsche Zeitung.
Putin said scrapping visa regime would remove a serious obstacle for small and medium business activity and for innovative companies.
Putin stressed the importance of setting a clear timetable of visa waiver process that would enhance cooperation of the law enforcement agencies of Russia and European countries.
The Russian head of government also offered to create a free trade zone between Brussels and Moscow, removing the remaining obstacles for Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization.
"As a result, we'll get a common continental market worth trillions of euros," he said.
Putin urged to create "post-industrial" strategic alliances in shipbuilding, car industry, airplane construction, space technologies, nuclear power, logistics and others.
Putin published his article on the run-up of the 4th annual German economic forum he was going to attend.