EU toughens travel rules for Russians but issues no full visa ban

by | Aug 31, 2022 | World

European Union foreign ministers on Wednesday suspended the visa facilitation deal with Moscow, making it difficult for Russians to obtain visas to travel to the bloc.The bloc, however, shied away from agreeing to the EU-wide visa ban demanded by Ukraine and several other member states.
The EU was too divided to agree at this stage on a blanket ban, and also left unclear what unilateral measures Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Finland, which have land borders with Russia, could take to restrict access to Russian visitors.
These five countries welcomed the suspension of Russia’s visa facilitation deal as a step in the right direction, but four of them stressed that more needed to be done to “drastically” limit the numbers of visas issued and Russians travelling to the bloc since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky (R) and the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell (L) give a press conference after an informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers (Gymnich) on August 31, 2022 in Prague, Czech Republic [Michal Cizek/AFP]
“Until such measures are in place on the EU level, we … will consider introducing on the national level temporary measures of visa ban, or restricting border crossing for Russian citizens holding EU visas, in order to address imminent public security issues,” Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and …

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