Russia’s attack on Ukraine. “FT”: EU to end visa facilitation agreement with Russia

EU foreign ministers are set to back the end of the visa deal with Russia next week, the British Financial Times reported on Sunday. This is to limit the number of visas issued to Russian tourists.

The Financial Times reported that some EU countries, particularly neighboring Russia, are demanding a complete suspension of EU tourist visas issued to Russians and have threatened to unilaterally close borders to Russian tourists if this is not agreed to.

Daily mentions, for example, Poland and Republic of Che It stopped issuing visas soon after the Russian invasion UkraineBut because other countries still spend them, Russians can move freely throughout the Schengen area.

Citing three officials involved in the talks, the FT said ministers plan to offer political support for suspending the EU-Russia visa facilitation deal at a two-day meeting in Prague starting on Tuesday.

“It is inappropriate for Russian tourists to walk around our cities”

Parts of a 2007 agreement on the free movement of government officials and businessmen were suspended in late February. A broad suspension would remove preferential treatment for Russians when applying for all EU visas, which would require more documentation from them, make visas more expensive and significantly lengthen waiting times.

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“It is inappropriate for Russian tourists to walk in our cities, in our marinas. This should send a signal to the Russian people that this war is not okay and not acceptable” – says one of the sources cited by the FT.

“We are in an exceptional situation that requires exceptional steps. We want to go beyond suspending visa facilitation,” noted another senior EU official, adding that deep changes could be made by the end of the year.

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However, as the “FT” points out, there is no consensus on proposals for additional measures that Brussels can take to reduce the number of EU visas issued to Russians or to stop issuing them altogether, or to extend any restrictions to citizens. Belarussupported Putin’s invasion.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister: I look forward to finding a common European solution

Some countries, including Germany, warned against introducing a total ban, and the EU diplomatic chief Joseph BorrellPresiding over the Prague talks, he said he opposed a visa ban for all Russians, saying the bloc needed to be “more selective”.

“FT” writes that Finland, Poland and the Baltic states have suggested that they are ready to stop allowing Russians into their territories with tourist visas, citing the provisions of the Schengen Agreement on exceptions to its application based on national security. Due to the suspension of air traffic between the EU and Russia, many Russian tourists use these countries as a transit route to other EU destinations. 30 percent, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said last week. Russians traveling to the EU do so via this country.

– I look forward to finding a common European solution on how to significantly reduce the arrival of Russian tourists to Europe – said the Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius LandsbergisPointing out that the agreement of all 27 states is “highly balanced and legally appropriate”.

However, he added: – If we cannot find a common solution, we do not rule out a regional agreement in the countries most affected by the great flow of Russian tourists abusing European hospitality.

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As “FT” points out, countries that support a complete ban on Russian visits to the EU for tourism purposes have said they do not want to completely close their borders, as exceptions must be maintained for humanitarian reasons, allowing asylum seekers and Russian dissidents to escape.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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