THE European Union suspends the agreement with Russia for the facilitation of visa issuance, as announced by Joseph Borelafter the meeting of foreign ministers.
This suspension removes the preferential treatment for Russianswhen applying for all EU visas and will therefore now be required more paperwork and waiting timewhile also their publication becomes more expensive.
“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 could not agree on a general visa ban for Russiansas 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 was made Baltic countries and some othersto stop granting entry visas to the Schengen area for Russians.
Nordic and Eastern European countries strongly advocated an outright ban on tourist visas for Russians in response to Moscow’s actions in Ukrainesaying that traveling to Europe is a privilege, not a right.
It is recalled that yesterday the Netherlands had made it clear that it would support the proposals to ban the entry of Russian tourists into the European Union.
“We would like to make a distinction between the Russian state and its citizens. But at the same time, we see that most people who come here are by far rich Russians, who often have ties to the regime,” the Dutch foreign minister said. Bopke Hoekstra.
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 demonstrate a complete lack of logic,” said the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov. 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.
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