EU Commission adopts proposal to halt visa facilitation with Russia
EU Home Affairs Commissioner says the European Commission has adopted a proposal to stop the visa facilitation agreement with Russia.
The European Commission adopted a proposal to fully halt the visa facilitation agreement with Russia, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson revealed on Tuesday.
"Today, the Commission has adopted a proposal to fully suspend the visa facilitation agreement with Russia," Johansson said, adding that the new visa regime will be effective on September 12.
"This suspension means Russian citizens will no longer enjoy privilege access to EU for example for tourism and leisure purposes they will face a lengthier, more expensive — more than double the price — and more difficult application process as well as more restrictions for multiple entry visas," she explained.
Read: Ban on Russian tourists in the EU will cost €21 billion in losses
EU member states should be permitted to reject a visa application for certain categories of Russian applicants who could potentially pose a threat to public policy, internal security, or international relations of a member state, Johansson added.
Russian official: EU suspension of visas to be met with consequences
The decision of the EU to suspend the facilitated visa regime with Russia will not remain without consequences, Moscow can respond with both symmetrical and asymmetric measures, which are not expected in Brussels — if they decide to “shoot themselves in the foot” once again, then this is their choice, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told sources last week.
This came after EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that EU countries had reached a political agreement to completely suspend visa facilitation with Russia, but that certain categories of Russian citizens would still be able to obtain EU visas.
The EU top diplomat also said that the bloc's common approach will help to avoid circumvention of visa restrictions.
We have seen a substantial increase of border crossings from Russia into neighbouring states. This is becoming a security risk.— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) August 31, 2022
We therefore agree today with EU Foreign Ministers on Full Suspension of the EU-Russia visa facilitation agreement. pic.twitter.com/zdowgdOa8F