The European Union’s Fee has known as on the Member States’ border authorities to impose tighter safety checks for Russian travellers exhibiting up at their factors of entry. It has additionally urged the consulates of the Member States in Russia to evaluate the situations below which Russian residents may be issued Schengen visas in a restrictive and coordinated method.
The Fee has revealed a set of up to date tips on how this might be achieved, presenting the rules in a press launch issued on September 30, Friday.
In keeping with the Fee, the up to date tips are mandatory after the variety of Russian residents travelling to the EU has elevated as a result of “latest escalation of the struggle by Russia, together with via army mobilization and sham ‘referenda’.”
Commenting on the rules, the Vice-President for Selling our European Means of Life, Margaritis Schinas, reiterated the significance of unity between the Member States to be able to take care of the rising variety of Russian residents reaching the EU and Schengen Space borders.
“The European Union is and can at all times stay a spot of asylum. However that is now in the beginning a safety challenge: elevated scrutiny on visa issuance and heightened border checks will guarantee we defend ourselves, and our unity,” he stated.
Whereas Swedish politician Ylva Johansson, who additionally serves because the Commissioner for Dwelling Affairs, Ylva Johansson warned the Member States that the safety risk from Russia’s aggression is actual, and that the EU should defend itself and its residents.
“We’re ensuring to have a coherent and united strategy at EU exterior borders vis-à-vis Russian residents and likewise in relation to making use of strict guidelines on issuing short-stay visas for Russian residents. On the similar time, Europe is not going to shut its door to those that are in real want of safety,” she stated.
Reinforce Scrutiny on Visa Issuance to Russians & Reassess Already Issued Visas
The rules primarily urge the Member States to strengthen safety scrutiny on visa issuance to Russians whereas additionally telling the EU consulates in Russia to reassess all visas issued to Russian residents which are at present legitimate.
In keeping with the rules, when reviewing purposes for Schengen Visas, the Member States ought to assess the situations below which a visa may be issued in a restrictive and coordinated method, together with right here for Russians fleeing army mobilization.
Nonetheless, in circumstances when visa candidates intend to remain within the EU for an extended interval, the Member States’ consulates ought to deal with the case below the relevant nationwide guidelines for nationwide long-stay visas.
“On the subject of short-stay visas, consulates are known as to use any humanitarian derogations in a restrictive method. It’s as much as the Member States, based mostly on a person examination, to evaluate if purposes by Russian residents can qualify as falling below the humanitarian causes class,” the Fee advises.
Concerning the reassessment of visas already issued, the Member States are instructed to undertake a strict reassessing strategy, reminding them that the border guards of any of the Member States have the precise to revoke a visa of an individual that reveals up at that nation’s exterior borders.
The Fee additionally calls on the Member States to strengthen safety checks on the exterior border and to cooperate with one another to be able to forestall Russian residents who’re denied entry at one EU border level from getting into from one other border level.
Passenger carriers are additionally urged to fastidiously asses the journey paperwork of travellers, particularly, Russian residents.
All EU international locations sharing a land border with Russia have already banned entry for Russian residents as a sanction measure for the continuing struggle in Ukraine. Whereas Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia began refusing entry to Russian residents on September 19, Finland closed its border with Russia on September 29.
The one Schengen Space nation that at present has an open border with Russia is Norway, which can quickly begin refusing entry for Russian vacationers as nicely.