The EU suspends the pact that facilitated the granting of visas to Russians

The Council of the European Union (EU) agreed this Friday to suspend the agreement signed with Moscow that facilitated Russian citizens to obtain visas to travel to the community club.

Last Tuesday, the European Commission presented the proposal to be able to suspend the agreement effectively and the member states ratified it this Friday.

The foreign ministers of the Twenty-seven have already reached a political pact to completely suspend the visa facilitation agreement with Russia during an informal meeting held last week in Prague.

The suspension of the agreement between the EU and Russia means that Russian citizens The general rules of the Visa Code will apply to them from next MondaySeptember 12.

Rate of 80 euros

So starting next week the visa application fee for Russian travelers will increase from 35 to 80 eurosadditional documentary evidence will have to be submitted, processing times will increase and more restrictive rules for the issuance of visas for multiple entries.

However, the total suspension of the agreement does not imply a total ban on broadcasting of new visas.

Russia has broken that trust and trampled on the fundamental values ​​of our international community.

“A visa facilitation agreement allows privileged access to the EU for citizens of trusted partners with whom we share common values. With its unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression, and in particular its indiscriminate attacks on civilians, Russia has broken that trust and trampled on the core values ​​of our community. international,” Czech Interior Minister Vít Rakuóan, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Twenty-seven, said in a statement.

He stressed that the decision “It is a direct consequence of Russia’s actions and further proof” of the community club’s “unwavering commitment” to Ukraine and its population.

End to a 2007 deal

The visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Russia entered into force on June 1, 2007, with the aim of facilitating the issuance of short-stay visasthat is, for stays not exceeding 90 days in periods of 180 days.

Already in February, after the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Twenty-Seven partially suspended the pact, so it ceased to apply to diplomats, other Russian officials and businessmen.

full suspension affects all categories of travelers wishing to move to the EU for a short stay.

“The Commission is expected present additional guidelines to ensure that this suspension does not adversely affect certain individuals who travel to the EU for essential purposes, such as journalists, dissidents and representatives of civil society,” the Council specified.

Apart from the suspension of the visa facilitation agreement, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have decided to go a step further and will restrict the entry into their territory of Russian citizens with a visa for the Schengen area for tourist, cultural, sporting and commercial

In a statement, these four countries committed to putting into force the almost total limitation of visas to Russians “before September 19, 2022” and agreed to request “a common approach” to the European Union” in this regard and that the same entry limitations be imposed on Russian citizens uniformly throughout the Union.

The only exceptions to the general prohibition will be visas for dissidents (with the Government of Vladimir Putin), humanitarian cases, family members, holders of residence permits, carriers, diplomats, as well as the transit of travelers to and from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad in the Baltic, according to the statement.

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