Lithuanian Defense Ministry: It will be difficult for the EU to reach a consensus on a ban on issuing Schengen to Russians //s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/resized/673xH/media/img/5/91/756606419522915.jpg 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >
< img class="aligncenter" src="https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/media/img/5/91/756606419522915.jpg" alt="Lithuanian authorities questioned the possibility of banning the issuance of Schengen to Russians" />
Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas considers calls to ban the issuance of tourist Schengen visas to Russians at the EU level unpromising, since EU members are unlikely to reach an agreement on this issue. He stated this on the air of LRT radio.
“There is no need to wait for a consensus at the EU level on the introduction of a ban on the issuance of tourist visas to Russian citizens,”— said the minister.
According to him, such an agreement could cause disagreements even at the preparation stage. “Some of the member countries, in my opinion, may stop working on the preparation of such an agreement, but we should not give up. It is necessary to strive for this solution, & mdash; noted Anusauskas.
Belgium was one of the first to voice the idea of limiting the issuance of visas to Russians after the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine. Kingdom Minister for Refugees Sammy Mahdi said that “a general visa ban for Russians should not be taboo.” A similar initiative was made by Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of Latvia Krisjanis Karins, as well as the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.
Against this, the European Commission announced the impossibility of completely stopping the issuance of visas, since this is not provided visa code of the EU. In addition, there are always categories of citizens who need to issue visas— family members, journalists and dissidents, the EC said. At the same time, on August 10, German government spokesman Steffen Hebenstreit said that the issue of visas began to be discussed at the EU level.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also called for a ban on short-term visas, but later said that the West should help those Russians who are persecuted at home with asylum.
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The Russian Foreign Ministry, commenting on initiatives to stop issuing visas to Russians, called it ” barren” trying harder to “punish” Russia and its citizens. “Restricting the travel of Russian citizens for political reasons will be another step towards aggravating the confrontation in bilateral relations,” — claimed agency spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
She also said that such initiatives violate international law, in particular the freedom of movement provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.
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