FT: EU to suspend Russian visa deal

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EU foreign ministers are this week to back the suspension of the bloc’s deal with Moscow to facilitate the issuance of permits in a bid to reduce visas issued after some eastern member states threatened to unilaterally close their borders to Russian tourists, according to a Financial Times report.

As a first step, ministers plan to give political support to suspending the EU-Russia visa facilitation deal at a two-day meeting in Prague starting on Tuesday, three officials involved in the talks told the Financial Times.

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Some countries have called for collective action to stop ordinary Russians traveling to the EU on tourist visas, in the latest challenge to the bloc as it tries to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine while maintaining unity among its 27 members.

But others continued to grant the travel documents, allowing Russians with visas to travel anywhere in the Schengen free movement zone.

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However, there is no consensus on additional measures Brussels could take, which would either reduce the number of EU permits issued to Russians or stop them being issued altogether, or on proposals such as extending any ban to citizens of Belarus, which has supported Putin’s invasion.

Source: Capital

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