European Union Member States have agreed to suspend an agreement which has made it easier for Russians to obtain visas, a much-anticipated move which was confirmed on Wednesday afternoon after the European Union foreign ministers convened in Prague, Czech Republic.
Following the meeting on Wednesday, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, has announced about the suspension.
He elaborated that, “The EU Foreign Affairs Chief added, in a message published on Twitter, that there had been “a substantial spike of border crossings from Russia into neighbouring states.”
“This is becoming a security risk,” Borrell added. “We, therefore, agree today with EU Foreign Ministers on full suspension of the EU-Rusia visa facilitation agreement.”
The total suspension will significantly reduce the number of visas granted by EU members States to Russian citizens.
It will now take longer & be more difficult to obtain a visa, Borrell noted.
Borrell stated that, “This has become a security threat for these neighbouring states. Additionally, we have seen many Russians travelling for leisure and shopping as if no war was raging in Ukraine.”
The move was specifically welcomed by member states that border Russia. “We need to immediately ramp up the price to Putin’s regime, ” as stated by Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu.