EU Foreign Ministers agree to suspend visa accord with Russia


European Union (EU) foreign ministers have agreed to suspend a 2007 visa facilitation agreement with Russia over the country’s war in Ukraine, top EU diplomat Josep Borrell announced on Wednesday.


The move is designed to prevent “visa shopping” by Russian applicants seeking easier entry to the European Union through member states with laxer rules, the EU foreign policy chief said during a press conference in Prague.


The suspension came after weeks of pressure from EU countries bordering Russia to crack down on Russian nationals travelling to the bloc on Schengen visas issued by some EU member states.


Such a move would make the EU visa process more complicated, more expensive and more bureaucratic, as well as increasing waiting times for approval, according to European Commission’s guidelines.


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