The EU will suspend the visa agreement with Russia


EU foreign ministers are expected to back a suspension of the bloc’s visa facilitation deal with Moscow.

Several countries have called for collective action to ban ordinary Russians from 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.

Countries including the Czech Republic and Poland stopped issuing visas to Russian tourists shortly after President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February.

They have since called for Brussels to enact a full ban, echoing a plea from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Others have continued to issue travel documents, allowing Russians with visas to travel anywhere in the Schengen free movement zone.

As a first step, ministers plan to provide political support for suspending the EU-Russia visa facilitation agreement at a two-day meeting in Prague starting on Tuesday, three officials involved in the talks said.

“It is inappropriate for Russian tourists to walk in our cities…”, a senior EU official involved in the talks was quoted as saying. “We must send a signal to the Russian population that this war is not okay, it is not acceptable.”

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