By Duncan Mackay

Vladimir Putin with penDecember 4 - Russian President Vladimir Putin today signed the law that simplifies the visa system for foreign volunteers taking part in the Winter and Paralympic Games in Sochi in 2014.

The law, which had been approved by the Russian Federation Council last week, allows the visa service, at the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee's request, to issue visas and send them by e-mail to the corresponding diplomatic missions and consular services.

The legislation should halve the time needed to process a visa for the as yet unknown portion of the 25,000 volunteers to come from abroad.

Sochi 2014 had announced last February the volutneer recrutiment programme.

Anyone between the ages of 18 and 80 is eligible to apply.

For foreign nationals, the application will be reviewed by the staff of Sochi 2014 either in Moscow or Sochi.

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