Europe

Putin confirms visa-free system for Russia's World Cup

In this photo taken on Wednesday, June 29, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses students during his visit to German Embassy school in Moscow, Russia. Putin says in a July 4 message to President Barack Obama that he hopes that the ties between the two countries will get back on track. Relations between Moscow and Washington hit a post-Cold War low in 2014 when Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and threw its weight behind separatists in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

In this photo taken on Wednesday, June 29, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses students during his visit to German Embassy school in Moscow, Russia. Putin says in a July 4 message to President Barack Obama that he hopes that the ties between the two countries will get back on track. Relations between Moscow and Washington hit a post-Cold War low in 2014 when Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and threw its weight behind separatists in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)  (The Associated Press)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law the visa-free system for fans visiting the 2018 World Cup.

Fans who have tickets and have been issued a "fan ID" by the Russian government will be allowed to enter Russia without a visa for the period surrounding the tournament, according to the legislation published online.

A similar system was in place for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, with spectators entering personal information in an online database in order to receive the identification document from the Russian authorities.

Few countries outside the former Soviet Union and South America have visa-free access to Russia, with U.S. and European Union citizens among those usually required to apply for visas.