The EU will completely suspend an agreement concluded with Russia to facilitate the issuance of visas for travellers. This was announced by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Wednesday after the foreign ministers' consultations in Prague. The move is another punitive measure in response to Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, which has been going on for more than half a year. It aims to enable member states to easily impose entry restrictions on Russians and to increase the costs and workload for applicants. For example, the basic setting of the visa fee at 35 euros will no longer apply, and the standard processing time of ten calendar days after receipt of the application will no longer apply. Borrell said the visa deal's suspension will significantly reduce the number of new visas issued.
So far, the visa facilitation agreement that came into force in 2007 has only been suspended for business people, government officials and diplomats. This decision was made on February 25, shortly after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.