France and Germany will support the continuation of the issuance of EU visas to Russians

Countries believe that entry permits should be given to people “not affiliated with the state”, including students and scientists

France and Germany intend to advocate continuing to issue EU visas to Russians, they will announce this during an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Prague next week, writes Bloomberg, citing document prepared by the countries for the meeting.

In it, Paris and Berlin express their confidence that the EU should continue issuing visas to Russians “not affiliated with the government”, in particular students, artists, scientists and professionals.

“Understanding the concerns of some countries members of the [EU] in this respect, we must not underestimate the transformative power of the experience of living in democratic states, especially in relation to future generations,— says the document.

During the meeting in Prague, it is also planned to discuss a compromise option on visas for Russian citizens, which was previously proposed by the Czech Republic: to suspend the simplified visa regime with Russia and Belarus. This means that citizens of these countries will have to collect more documents for applying for a visa, it will take longer to process them, and the visa fee will increase from €35 to €80.

This option should become an alternative to the complete cessation of the issuance of European visas to Russians, which was previously proposed by the Czech Republic. However, so far there is no unity in the European Union on this issue. Such drastic measures were opposed by several members of the union, including Germany and Austria. Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged to remember the Russians who do not agree with the policy of Moscow and leave the country because of this. In the event of a ban on entry into the European Union, they may be in a vulnerable position, he stressed.

At the same time, Brussels explained that it was impossible to make a decision at the level of the entire association, since the EU Visa Code does not contain the possibility of stopping the issuance of short-stay visas. “There are always categories of citizens for whom visas must be issued, for example in humanitarian cases, for family members, journalists or dissidents,” — clarified the representative of the European Commission Anita Hipper.

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