Poland, which aggressively backed a complete ban on Russian visas, is expressing its satisfaction that the EU has agreed to suspend the current agreement with Russia on how the EU issues visas to Russian citizens.
Poland’s foreign affairs minister, Zbigniew Rau, said the EU ended up adopting Poland’s view on the issue. Although the EU did not place complete restrictions on Russian visas, they are expected to be more costly and much more difficult to obtain.
“The point of view adopted is the one favored by the Baltic states, Finland, and Poland,” he said.
Rau believes that what has been agreed upon will effectively lead to the suspension of the issuing of tourist and visitor visas for Russians in the foreseeable future.
“All privileges have now ceased,” he added.
Poland’s top diplomat explained that according to the new procedures, an applicant for a visa will have to pay €80 (up until now it was €30), and the process will be much lengthier and involve far greater documentation.
“In effect, the previous scheme of issuing tourist visas for Russians citizens will end,” said the Polish FM.
Zbigniew Rau also reported that the EU’s foreign ministers discussed what to do about existing long-term multi-entry Schengen visas that have already been issued to Russian citizens.
The new regulations, which are expected to be passed, will enable states bordering Russia and Belarus to deny entry to Russian citizens on security grounds. Rau added that Poland, the Baltic states, and Finland are already applying such restrictions.