EU suspends travel visa deal with Russia

EU suspends travel visa deal with Russia
EU suspends travel visa deal with Russia


First entry: Wednesday, August 31, 2022, 5:24 p.m

The suspension of the agreement of the European Union with Russia on the facilitation of issuing visas, Josep Borel announced, after the meeting of the foreign ministers.

The effect of the suspension is to remove the preferential treatment for Russians when applying for all EU visas, and therefore more paperwork and waiting time will be required, and it will also become more expensive to issue them.

“We have agreed on a complete suspension of the EU-Russia visa facilitation agreement,” Borrell told a news conference at the end of a two-day meeting of foreign ministers in Prague. “This will significantly reduce the number of new visas issued by EU member states. It will be more difficult, it will take longer,” he added.

According to diplomatic sources cited by Reuters, EU foreign ministers were unable to agree on a blanket visa ban for Russians as member states were divided on the issue.

“We have seen a significant increase in border crossings from Russia to neighboring states. This constitutes a security risk. Therefore, we agreed today with EU Foreign Ministers on the complete suspension of the EU-Russia visa facilitation agreement,” noted the head of EU diplomacy, in a related tweet, while adding: “In addition, we have seen many Russians to travel for leisure and shopping as if there was no war raging in Ukraine.”

The decision was taken at the meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers in Prague, where the proposal of the Baltic countries and some others to stop granting entry visas to the Schengen area for Russians was made.

Nordic and eastern European countries have strongly advocated an outright ban on tourist visas for Russians in response to Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, saying travel to Europe is a privilege, not a right.

Netherlands

It is recalled that yesterday the Netherlands supported the proposals to ban the entry of Russian tourists to the European Union, according to statements by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wopke Hoekstra.

“We would like to make a distinction between the Russian state and its citizens. But at the same time, we see that most of the people who come here are by far rich Russians, who often have ties to the regime,” Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said.

Kremlin

The Kremlin had criticized calls by some European leaders for a visa ban on Russian tourists, saying the proposals were “absurd” and the latest manifestation of the West’s anti-Russian agenda.

“Step by step, unfortunately, both Brussels and individual European capitals are showing a complete lack of logic,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. He added that Europe’s actions towards Russia are “a little short of insanity”. “Of course, such decisions cannot go unanswered,” he stressed, without specifying how Russia might respond.


The article is in Greek

Tags: suspends travel visa deal Russia

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