Russians issued 2.5 million foreign passports in six months, this is the maximum in the last three years

In Russia, for six months - from January to June - 2.5 million foreign passports were issued, which is 45% more than for the same period in 2021, as well as a maximum over the past three years. RBC writes about this with reference to information from the Ministry of Internal Affairs about the migration situation in Russia.

The peak in issuing passports came in March, when 553,000 Russians received them. In January and February, 238,000 and 406,000 passports were issued. In April and May, the number of completed documents decreased, in June it increased to 446,000. These figures exceed the number of passports issued during the same period in 2021, 2020 and 2019. The publication clarifies that the number of passports in 2020 and 2021 was influenced by the pandemic.

Demographer Aleksey Raksha believes that the increase in the number of foreign passports can be interpreted as pent-up demand for foreign travel and a "return to the pre-Covid period." However, he added that the increase in the issuance of international passports in March against the backdrop of airspace closures and difficulties in traveling abroad can no longer be explained by pent-up demand. The outbreak of war in Ukraine had an impact on growth.

According to the FSB, in January-March 2022, 3.88 million Russian citizens went abroad, which is 46% more than in the same months last year. 28% of trips were made to Ukraine, Finland, Estonia and Germany.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with The Washington Post that Western countries should ban all Russians from entering their territory, as well as expel Russian citizens so that they "change their philosophy." A few days after his statement, Estonia decided to close the borders for Russian citizens with Schengen visas issued by the republic, with some exceptions. The Saeima of Latvia declared Russia a sponsor of terrorism and called on the EU countries to immediately suspend the issuance of tourist visas to Russians and Belarusians.

The European Commission (EC) clarified that the EU visa code does not provide for the termination of the issuance of short-stay visas throughout the EU. Each country makes its own decision.

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