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Suspension of the visa agreement with Russia

The European Union has decided to suspend the visa agreement concluded with Russia in 2007 and to intensify scrutiny over the future applications submitted by Russian citizens willing to enter the EU. The suspension of the visa agreement is expected to significantly hinder the visa application process, making it more expensive and burdensome for Russian citizens to travel to the EU. Furthermore, the passports issued by Russian authorities inside the occupied territories of Ukraine will not be recognized in the EU.

The decision can be seen as a political compromise between certain Member States urging a total ban on visa applications and other Member States opposing the entry restrictions. Hungary, among other states such as Germany, France, Portugal and Spain, did not support the restrictions, arguing that the EU cannot apply sanctions against those Russians who are against the war in Ukraine. On the other hand, a few Member States bordering Russia (i.e., Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland) already made a joint statement that they will introduce temporary bans or restrictions for Russian citizens by referring to their public security risk.