EU Discussing Ban on Issuance of Visas to Russians

European Union
European Union

The European Union is discussing a ban on the issuance of Schengen visas to Russians as part of the seventh package of sanctions, German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said Wednesday.

“Fundamentally, in the EU, we are in the process of discussing how … the seventh package of sanctions should look like, what components it may contain. And the issues you raised [visas] play a role in that. There is still no consensus on this issue, also from the federal government, how to relate to this,” Hebestreit told a briefing.

The European Commission said last week that the 26-nation borderless Schengen area cannot completely stop issuing visas to Russian citizens. It added that EU member states could decide for themselves whether to consider each application for a short-term tourist visa on an individual basis.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova argued on Tuesday that freedom of movement was essential for exercising human rights and enshrined in international laws. The Foreign Ministry said Russia should be prepared for any eventuality and warned the EU that any hostile action would not be left without a proportional reaction.

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