As of Monday, Russian citizens will no longer benefit from easier visa issuance for trips to Germany and other countries in the Schengen area. On Friday, the Council of EU States accepted the European Commission's proposal to completely suspend the agreement concluded between the EU and Russia to facilitate the issuing of visas.
According to earlier information from EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, the move will ensure that the number of new visas for Russians will drop significantly. In particular, people in need of protection should still be able to get a visa. The Schengen area includes 22 EU countries and four other European countries.
Specifically, the decision will increase the application fee for a visa from 35 to 80 euros. In addition, more paperwork is required, processing times are increasing and the issuance of multiple-entry visas is being restricted. In order to prevent disadvantages for journalists, dissidents and representatives of civil society, for example, the EU Commission has already announced additional guidelines.
Some states are announcing more far-reaching measures
The Baltic States and Poland have announced much more far-reaching measures. They want to refuse entry to all Russian citizens with a Schengen visa for tourist stays, business trips, sporting and cultural events from September 19 - regardless of which member country issued the visa. Shortly after the start of the Russian war against Ukraine, the states largely stopped issuing visas and residence permits to Russians.
The visa agreement between the EU and Russia has been in effect since 2007. Shortly after the start of the war on February 24, the simplifications for business people, government officials and diplomats were already suspended.