The EU completely suspends the agreement on the facilitation of the
The foreign ministers of the European Union states have agreed to suspend the visa facilitation agreement signed with Russia in 2007, making the procedures more difficult and expensive.
The political agreement does not mean a total ban on travel to the EU, but it will make it more difficult for Russian citizens who want a permit for stays of up to 90 days. This agreement was already partially suspended for civil servants and businessmen, but will now be suspended completely.
“Member states feel that business as usual cannot continue. We have agreed politically that something has to be done,” announced EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell.
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Actually it is always the same standard document, which consists of 2 parts: a “voucher of services”=”voucher” (in English or Russian) plus a “confirmation of reception of foreign tourist”=”confirmation of accommodation booking” =”podtverzhdenie” (in Russian). This document is issued by a Russian travel agency authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue it or a hotel entitled to do so. In most cases this document is arranged when you book your accommodation in Russia (but it is not automatic, you have to do it specially), i.e. when booking any type of accommodation, do not forget to ask about it (ask for “visa support”) before booking. There are also travel or visa agencies that manage it as an additional service. They provide a copy by fax or in PDF format. The visa will be issued exactly for the dates of stay indicated in the letter of invitation. Normally it is not required to present a reservation of air or train tickets to apply for the visa (you can read all the requirements on their website). The visa will be affixed to a page of your passport.
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“Member states feel that business as usual cannot continue. We have agreed politically that something has to be done,” announced EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell, speaking after the informal meeting in Prague of the bloc’s foreign ministers, who have given the green light to limit visas for Russian tourism.
The suspension of the visa facilitation agreement with Russia has ended up being the meeting point between the Member States that demanded a total ban on the entry of Russians to the EU, such as the Baltic States, and those that demanded to be more selective.
Regarding the border controls already applied by some Member States, such as Estonia, to curb the arrival of Russian citizens on European soil, Borrell explained that the EU-27 can adopt a wide range of measures within the framework of the Schengen code.
The arrival of tourists from Russia has become “a security issue” for the EU’s neighboring countries, such as the Baltic States and Finland, admitted Borrell, who assured that this summer Russian citizens have been seen traveling to Europe for leisure, “as if there were no war in Ukraine”.
Schröder maintains his ties with the Russian president despite the
In an interview with The Washington Post, Volodymir Zelenski said earlier this month that Russians should “live in their own world until they change their philosophy” underpinning the idea of collective responsibility for the formulation of sanctions for Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.The expulsion of diplomatsEven without an outright visa ban, the application process is already more complicated for Russians than it was before the invasion in Ukraine. “The main problem is finding a space for an embassy visa appointment,” said Alina Protsenko, head of the visa support department at Russian travel agency Aero Club Tour, adding that longer-than-normal waiting times were the result of reciprocal diplomatic expulsions that have left European embassies in Russia understaffed.
The application process has also apparently been tightened. “Documents, airline tickets and booking confirmations are subject to closer scrutiny and, in some cases, a visa application can be denied,” Protsenko told The Moscow Times.