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All visitors requiring a visa to enter Russia will be fingerprinted, according to a new decree signed by President Vladimir PutinCC

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has ordered fingerprinting of foreigners as part of the processing of visas to enter the country.

The compulsory biometric registration will be applied from 10th December at Russian embassies and consulates in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Myanmar and Namibia, and also at Moscow's Vnukovo airport, Russia's news agency Tass reported.

The countries involved will be informed about the new procedure before 5th December.

The decree, signed by Putin, explained that the move hopes to help the application of law enforcement, tackle illegal immigration and prevent terror attacks.

The Russian Foreign Ministry and the Federal Security Service have been ordered "to ensure the process of collecting biometric personal data and scanning of papillary pictures of all fingers of foreign citizens or stateless persons in processing their visas," the decree continued.

"It is expected that biometric data will be collected mainly at the visa centers, which would make it possible to avoid long queues at the Russian diplomatic missions where, as you know, people come not only to get a visa but to resolve many other issues as well," Yevgeny Ivanov, head of the consular department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said.

"Given the large amount of reciprocal travel, especially in the cross-border areas, consultations are under way with the Ukrainian side to agree on how to minimise the possible inconvenience that the new rules may cause to the citizens of both countries," he added.

The move comes after the Foreign Ministry proposed to introduce biometric data for foreigners entering Russia, in response to the EU's proposed plan to take fingerprints of all Russians wishing to enter the Schengen area in Europe from 2015.

The Schengen area comprises of 26 European countries that have abolished passport or any other type of border control between their common borders. It functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy.

In July lawmakers from the leftist party Fair Russia suggested amending the Federal Law to oblige all foreigners to be photographed and fingerprinted as they cross the Russian border, according to Russia Today.

Under the Russian Federation visa-free regime, only 31 countries, including Brunei, Brazil and Hong Kong are exempt from the need of a visa to enter the country.