EU suspends visa facilitation for Russians

In future it will take longer and be more difficult and more expensive for Russian citizens to obtain a Schengen visa. The EU foreign ministers agreed to suspend the 2007 visa facilitation agreement, meaning that a complete halt to the issuing of tourist visas is off the table for the time being. Commentators criticise the compromise solution.

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

Didn't they promise to pay more heed?

Old schools of thought that divided Europe even before Putin's invasion are still apparent in the debate over issuing visas to Russians, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung notes:

“Germany and France still believe it's possible to have an educational effect on other peoples, whereas the Eastern Europeans continue to rely on pressure. In fact, it is rather doubtful that a holiday in the EU will allow Europe to capture the 'hearts and minds' of the Russian population, as [German and French foreign ministers] Baerbock and Colonna hope will be the case. Didn't they promise in Berlin that they would pay more heed to their partners in the east in future?”

Jydske Vestkysten (DK) /

Close the border to Russians

Denmark should stop issuing visas to Russians altogether, Jydske Vestkysten demands:

“The belief that the democratic world can act as a source of inspiration is an illusion. There is no indication that there is any opposition worth mentioning in Russia to the horrors being committed in Ukraine. On the contrary, the vast majority of Russians - just like the Germans in World War II - seem to believe that they are fighting for a just cause. No amount of visits to the 'Little Mermaid' is likely to change that. ... As host, you have the privilege of deciding who you invite to the party. No one is obliged to invite the uncle who invariably gets drunk and starts a fight. In the European family, Russia is that unwelcome relative.”