In 2018, Russia granted visa-free entry to nationals of four nations, including Thailand, Brunei, and the Philippines, as part of a trial programme administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In its most recent statement, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that a trial programme that offered Russian passport holders visa-free entry to the island nation has been halted as of July 31. According to reports, the Taiwanese government launched a pilot programme in 2018 that allows citizens of Russia, Thailand, Brunei, and the Philippines to enter Taiwan without a visa. CNA reported that the ministry stated that the programme was extended for an additional year, excluding Russia.
Reports say, the remaining three countries are still a part of the trial visa-free entry programme, but due to COVID-19 border control regulations implemented by Taiwan, the programme is not operational. This year, however, Taiwan began easing some of its restrictions, including resuming visa-free travel for its 14 allies. The majority of countries in the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as a number of European nations, have eased travel restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The updated border regulations of Taiwan continue to exclude Israel, Chile, Japan, South Korea, Nicaragua, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Dominican Republic from the Visa Waiver Program. Before the pandemic, these countries would have offered visas upon arrival or visa-free entry to Taiwanese travellers. The pilot programme permitted Russians to enter Taiwan without a visa, but Taiwanese were not permitted to travel to Russia without a visa.
Taiwan has expressed concern over the growing ties between Russia and China, stating that they pose a grave threat to international peace, stability, and democracy. Additionally, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the international community to speak out against China’s threats to the island nation.
China persistently threatens Taiwan’s national security, attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo across the Taiwan Strait, and engages in expansionism. It finds international solace in growing closer to the Russian invaders and even claims that those who maintain peace and the status quo are provocateurs, according to a statement from Taiwan’s foreign ministry.
As per the website of the Russian representative office in Taipei, which handles consular matters in lieu of formal diplomatic ties between the two countries, Taiwanese citizens are still required to obtain a visa prior to travelling to Russia.