The EU countries are suspending an agreement from 2007 with Russia that made it easier for Russians to enter an EU country. Thus, it will still be possible for them to travel to the EU, but it will take longer and be more difficult.
This is stated by the EU’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, according to the Reuters news agency. It is happening because of Russia’s war against Ukraine, which has lasted six months.
“It will significantly reduce the number of new visas issued by EU member states. It will be more difficult and it will take longer,’ he says at the presentation.
The decision comes after an informal meeting between the foreign ministers of the EU countries in the Czech capital Prague on Tuesday and Wednesday. From the Danish side, Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod (S) has participated.
“What I am happy about is that we can stop the flow of Russian tourists to the EU and that we could have a common line. We have succeeded and we have agreed on a full suspension of this visa facilitation agreement, and this will significantly reduce the number of new visas. It will prevent visa shopping on the Russian side,’ he says after the meeting.
There has been no agreement on a general visa ban. This was stated by the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter Szijjarto, earlier on Wednesday afternoon. A number of countries have otherwise wanted this.
In February, EU countries decided to stop granting visas to Russian government politicians and officials, as well as many of Russia’s business leaders and the rich, often referred to as oligarchs.
It came as a reaction to Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine. A suspension of the visa agreement will also affect ordinary Russians.
Finland in particular, as well as the Eastern European EU countries Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, have pushed to deny entry to Russians altogether.
Germany’s Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has pointed out that a general visa ban could, among other things, make it difficult for critics of President Vladimir Putin to leave Russia.
Source: Politiken.dk – Forsiden by politiken.dk.
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