The European Union supported a complete halt to the visa facilitation agreement for Russians. The European Commission (EC) plans to approve the decision to terminate the agreement from 12 September.
According to the EC, Russian citizens will face longer and more expensive procedures for obtaining visas to the EU, and it will also become more difficult to obtain multiple visas. At the same time, the EU intends to create more convenient conditions for issuing visas to "students, journalists, dissidents and representatives of civil society" in Russia. EU countries will have the right to refuse visas to citizens of the Russian Federation who may "threaten the security of these countries and the EU." What exactly is meant by "threat" is not specified.
In addition, the commission submitted a proposal to the EU Council on the non-recognition of Russian passports issued in the liberated territories of Ukraine. Now, according to the EC, Russians have up to a million multiple-entry Schengen visas, all of which can be revised.
Individual EU countries may review the decisions made on already issued visas, the EC said.
Earlier, as a result of two-day talks between EU foreign ministers held in Prague, it was announced that the EU would suspend the issuance of visas to Russian citizens under a simplified procedure. It was noted that a complete ban on the issuance of visas would not be introduced.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, some EU countries have stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens: the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have joined the restrictions. Denmark and the Netherlands have stopped issuing short-stay visas. Finland announced that from September 1, it will reduce the issuance of tourist visas to Russians by ten times.