The European Union will continue to issue visas to Russians “for humanitarian reasons”

The European Union will not completely stop issuing Schengen visas to Russian citizens. They will continue to be issued for humanitarian reasons. This was announced by the representative of the European Commission (EC) Anitta Hipper at a daily briefing in Brussels.

At the same time, EU member states can independently decide to ban the issuance of visas to Russians.

“However, there will always be categories of people who should be given visas, for example, in humanitarian cases, for family members, for journalists or dissidents,” the EC representative said.

At the end of August, an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers will take place in Prague, where they will discuss the possibility of changing the Schengen visa code in order to limit the issuance of Schengen visas to Russian citizens. At the moment, the document does not provide for refusal of a visa on a national basis.

At the meeting, Estonia and Finland will propose to reduce tourist visas issued to Russians by several times. At the same time, participation in the initiative is expected on a voluntary basis. It will be joined by those EU countries that are already ready for such a step.

“Such a system will make it possible to work out the optimal forms of visa restrictions, which other EU countries will later be able to join,” the diplomat added.

Earlier, Finland announced that it would reduce the issuance of tourist visas to Russian citizens from September 1 by ten times. In this regard, the time slots for submitting applications for visiting the country for tourism purposes will be limited at the Finnish Visa Application Centers.

Estonia has already stopped issuing Schengen visas to Russian citizens. You can only enter the republic with a visa issued by another EU country. On August 9, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that visiting Europe is not a right, but a privilege, and called for an end to the issuance of tourist visas to Russians.

Prior to this, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Lithuania also stopped issuing Schengen visas to Russians. Denmark and the Netherlands have stopped issuing short-stay visas. At the same time, Germany opposed the ban on issuing visas to Russian citizens.

American Daily Newspaper

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