Posted on Sep 01, 2022
European Union foreign ministers have agreed to suspend a visa agreement with Moscow, making it harder for Russian citizens to obtain entry to the bloc, stopping way short of the blanket ban Ukraine and some member states had called for due to the likes of France and Germany being opposed.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (pictured above) criticised the decision as a "half-measure."
"With regard to Russia [this] is exactly what led to the large-scale invasion of February 24th," he said.
More than a million Russian citizens have travelled to the EU since the invasion of Ukraine in February, the BBC has reported.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the substantial increase in border crossings from Russia made it necessary to suspend the agreement.
"This has become a security risk for these neighbouring states," he said. "In addition to that, we have seen many Russians travelling for leisure and shopping as if no war was raging in Ukraine."
Mr Borrell said countries on Russia's borders were still free to restrict access to Russian citizens, even those with visas.
- EU High Representative Borrell "not in favour" of Schengen visa ban on Russian citizens
- Anna Fotyga MEP: "unacceptable that citizens of an aggressive country enjoy themselves in the EU while their troops kill peaceful Ukrainians"
- MEPs expected EU High Representative Borrell "to defend the European values, not to become a tool of Kremlin propaganda"
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