The foreign ministry said in statement that it has increased the number of employees as well as service stations at Consular Services abroad with particular attention to the Consulate General in Moscow and has given consular authorities the right to hire seasonal personnel should they see fit.
According to the ministry directive, consular authorities in Moscow and St Petersburg will work with a local provider who will increase by 50 percent the number of reception centers dealing with requests by Russian citizens for travel to Greece.
Tourism industry professionals have repeatedly expressed concerns that the tedious visa procedure currently applicable is turning away tourists, particularly those from the Russian market, which until several years ago was a major source of revenue for the sector.
Under the new regime, visa applicants from non-Schengen countries will be required to provide biometric data during their initial application. The Visa Information System (VIS), which can perform biometric matching, primarily of fingerprints, for identification and verification purposes, allows Schengen states to exchange visa data for security reasons.