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Next week, the European Union intends to terminate the agreement on a simplified visa regime with Russia

The European Union intends to suspend the visa facilitation agreement with Russia next week, the “Financial Times” newspaper writes.

The British newspaper noted that the plan to freeze the 2007 treaty would make it more difficult and expensive for Russian citizens to obtain travel documents to the Schengen area for free movement. According to the newspaper’s sources in Brussels, the decision will be made by EU foreign ministers on Tuesday, the first day of their informal meeting in Prague, and will be announced after the meeting ends on Wednesday.

It is inappropriate for Russian tourists to walk around our cities. (The European Union) should send a signal to the Russian population that a ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine is unacceptable,” one Financial Times source summarized. Earlier this week, EU countries bordering Russia threatened to unilaterally close their borders to Russian tourists. , if such a decision is not taken at the pan-European level.

Several Eastern European Union countries, such as the Czech Republic and Poland, stopped issuing tourist visas to Russians shortly after the outbreak of war on February 24. However, Russians who have a visa from one of the countries of the union are allowed to enter the rest of the countries of the community due to the rules of free movement, AFP notes. Last week, the European Commission admitted that there are ongoing discussions on the possibility of agreeing on a “coordinated approach” on the issue of tourist visas for Russians. However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed doubts about the introduction of such restrictions.

On August 9, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Western countries to ban Russian citizens from entering their territory. Although there are voices in favor of this idea, there is a consensus in the EU that the borders of the Union should remain open to Russians in certain cases – for example, for dissidents or for humanitarian reasons.

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