Borrell rules out practical visa decisions at EU summit in Prague

EU diplomat chief Borrell: no practical decisions on visas to be made at Prague summit No practical decisions are expected following the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers, the head of European diplomacy said. He expressed confidence that it would be possible to achieve unity and find the right political solution (max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Borrel ruled out practical visa decisions at EU summit in Prague

Josep Borrell

EU foreign ministers at an informal meeting in Prague will not take any practical steps on visas for Russians, said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

“The meeting is informal” only discussion, no practical solutions,— Borrell said on Wednesday upon his arrival at the meeting (quote from TASS).

The head of European diplomacy spoke the day before that no practical decisions are expected following the informal meeting. He expressed confidence that the countries will be able to find the right political solution to the issue, despite the differences of opinion.

On Wednesday, Borrell also expressed the hope that unity could be achieved and a political solution reached.

“We cannot afford to seem divided in such an important matter as relations between people, between Russian society and European people»,— he noted, his words are quoted by Reuters.

According to Belgian Foreign Minister Aji Labib, visa restrictions should be imposed against “specific people”: those who support military operations in Ukraine or try to avoid economic sanctions, De Morgen quotes her publication. Russians who disagree with the Kremlin's position should still be able to leave Russia, she said. The Minister also pointed out the impossibility of issuing tourist visas due to the expulsion of diplomats from the Belgian Embassy in Russia.

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Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn also spoke out against a total ban on visas. “We must not have a new Iron Curtain in Europe,” — he stressed.

Ukraine, the Baltic countries, Poland, the Czech Republic, Finland, the Netherlands and some others spoke out in favor of a ban on issuing visas to Russians. Do not support visa restrictions, in particular, France and Germany. At the same time, Germany proposed to suspend the EU visa facilitation agreement with Russia. Among other possible options— increase the cost of issuing a visa and slow down its issuance.

As the EC explained, the EU visa code “does not provide for the possibility of stopping the issuance of such visas”, but each individual country is free to take certain measures independently.

The Kremlin promised to respond to visa restrictions “in the best possible way, so that it meets our interests and protects the interests of our citizens.”

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