Russians will no longer be able to file their applications under a simplified procedure
The German-advocated suspension of a visa-facilitation agreement with Russia was supported by a majority of EU members, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said. Scrapping the deal was seen as an alternative to a proposed full ban on the issuance of tourist visas to Russian citizens.
There was no unanimity among EU members for the harsher general visa ban, the Hungarian minister said in a video address on his Facebook page on Wednesday. But the proposal to suspend the agreement only requires a qualified majority of votes, and “it became clear from today’s speeches that it exists,” he added.
Possible visa restrictions are being discussed this week during a two-day informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Prague. A full ban had been advocated by nations such as Poland and the three Baltic states, which are more hawkish on the issue than their Western European counterparts Germany and France.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said ahead of the meeting in Prague that her country promoted the suspension of the 2006 agreement as a compromise solution between the hardliners and those that didn’t want to target Russian tourists at all.