EU Council approves decision to suspend visa facilitation with Russia

The Council of the European Union has finally approved the decision to suspend the simplified visa regime with Russia. It will take effect September 12th.

Now the cost of a European visa will be 80 euros, additional documents will be required for the application, and the time for processing the request will increase to 15-45 days. Also, the rules for issuing multiple-entry visas will be tightened – in most cases, Russians will only be able to count on Schengen strictly for travel dates.

The reason for the cancellation of the visa facilitation agreement was the “destructive foreign policy of the Russian Federation and military aggression against Ukraine,” the European Commission said in a statement. The EU leadership has promised to remain open to certain categories of Russians, including journalists, dissidents and members of civil society.

Earlier, the European Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Ylva Johansson, said that EU countries would be able to revoke visas already issued to Russians. According to her, now about a million citizens of the Russian Federation have a Schengen. “To be a tourist in the European Union is not a fundamental right,” she stressed.

The Latvian authorities have already declaredthat will prohibit Russians with Schengen visas from entering the country, even if they are issued by third countries. BUTtax restrictions from September 19 will be introduced by Lithuania, Estonia and Poland. Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu noted that the appeal to the people of Russia is: “Do not come to Estonia with Schengen visas, you are not welcome here!” The ban will not apply only to truckers, diplomats, as well as Russians who wish to visit the state to meet with relatives or for humanitarian reasons.


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