The EU began to discuss the idea to ban the issuance of Schengen visas to Russians

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In Germany reported that the EU is discussing a ban on the issuance of Schengen visas to Russians Stop issuing Schengen Russians offered in Finland, Poland and Estonia. The European Commission called a complete ban on issuance of visas impossible =”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >< source srcset="https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/resized/1010xH/media/img/9/78/756601340905789.webp 1010w" type="image/webp" media="(max-width: 640px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 640px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)" >

The EU began a discussion initiatives of a number of countries of the union to ban the issuance of Schengen visas to Russians, said the official representative of the German government, Steffen Hebestreit, during a briefing.

“It [the project] was introduced by some countries to the EU and thus is on the agenda. The German government will now have to hold discussions on it between cabinet members and within the EU. These discussions are not completed, so I cannot report any interim results,— Hebeshtreit said (TASS quote).

Sweden does not rule out ending the issuance of visas to Russian citizens unilaterally or together with the European Union, writes the Dagens Industri newspaper, citing the Minister for Migration and Integration, Anders Egeman.

“Now we must seriously think about Are we going to expand the range of sanctions and change the EU visa regime,— he said.

Igeman said that Sweden can act independently in this direction or decide together with the EU.

“It is clear that we cannot rule out that Sweden will act independently. But we are also committed to supporting united EU action. This puts more pressure on Russia,»— he said.

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Belgium was one of the first to propose considering a ban on issuing Schengen cards to all Russians. “A general ban on issuing visas for Russians should not be taboo,” — said in February, the country's Minister for Refugees, Sammy Mahdi. In March, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki came up with a similar initiative. “We must suspend visas for all Russian citizens who wish to enter the European Union,” — he said.

The cessation of issuing visas to all Russians at the end of July was supported by the main political parties in Finland (Social Democratic (SDP) and Coalition parties, as well as “True Finns” and “Finland Center”). The opportunity for Russian citizens to travel to the West “as if nothing had happened” is absurd, said the representative of the Coalition Party Elina Valtonen. At the same time, the Minister for EU Affairs and State Property, Tytti Tuppurainen, said that Helsinki does not plan to make such a decision on its own.

The Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas, also spoke out for stopping the issuance of Schengen. After the closure of EU airspace for Russian aircraft, the main burden of receiving tourists fell on Estonia, Latvia and Finland, since they have land borders with Russia, the Estonian prime minister reported.

The issuance of tourist visas for Russians has already been suspended by the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

The EU Visa Code does not provide for a complete ban on the issuance of short-term visas, in including the Russians. There are categories of persons to whom they need to be issued, for example, family members, journalists, dissidents, the European Commission said. At the same time, the countries of the union can independently make decisions regarding a particular visa application, said Anita Hipper, representative of the EC.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, in particular, commenting on the proposal of Finnish politicians to stop issuing visas, called it fruitless attempts more strongly “punish” Russia and its citizens. “Restricting the travel of Russian citizens for political reasons will be another step towards aggravating the confrontation in bilateral relations,” — said the official representative of the department, Maria Zakharova.

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