The EC made recommendations to stop the simplified entry of officials from Russia

The Council of the European Union decided to partially suspend the visa facilitation agreement with Russia at the end of February. Russia responded to this mirror

The European Commission has recommended that EU countries abolish the simplified visa regime for Russian officials and businessmen, the commission said in a statement. The EU Council partially suspended the visa facilitation agreement with Russia on 25 February.

“The partial suspension [of the visa facilitation agreement] is directed against certain categories of persons close to the regime: it applies to Russian citizens who are members of official delegations of the Russian Federation, members of the federal and regional governments and parliaments of the Russian Federation, the Constitutional and Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, citizens of the Russian Federation with valid diplomatic passports, as well as businessmen and representatives of business organizations,— the EC said in a statement.

These categories of persons no longer have privileged access to the EU, they need to provide documentary evidence of the purpose of the trip when obtaining a visa, and also pay the visa fee in full— €80, the European Commission noted.

The agreement between the European Union and Russia on the simplified issuance of visas has been in force since the summer of 2007. This is a short-term visa with the right to stay no more than 90 days within 180 days.

The measures do not affect ordinary citizens of Russia, all visa benefits for them remain in force, the report specifies.

“Today’s recommendations will help Member States and their consulates apply the partial suspension [of the agreement on facilitation of issuance of visas], explain the procedures and conditions for issuing visas to Russian citizens in any EU consular office and ensure the possibility of issuing visas on humanitarian grounds,— declared in the commission.

The EU partially suspended the visa facilitation agreement with Russia at the end of February, following the start of a Russian special operation in Ukraine. Brussels' decision affected certain categories of Russian citizens— members of official delegations, government, parliament, as well as businessmen.

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On May 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended the visa facilitation agreement with the EU for certain categories of citizens . Thus, the simplified entry for members of official delegations and journalists, as well as the issuance of multiple-entry visas for up to a year, has been canceled. The issuance of multiple-entry visas for up to five years for members of national and regional governments and parliaments, constitutional and supreme courts is also suspended.

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