Brussels: Under new rules proposed by the European Union (EU), Russians will now have to face a lengthier visa application process and see fees rise from 35 euros ($34) to 80 euros ($79) in order to enter the bloc.
According to the European Commission, these new rules should continue until Russia continues to wage its ongoing war against Ukraine, reports the BBC.
Taking to Twitter on Tuesday evening, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “There can be no business as usual with Russia.
“We propose to fully suspend the EU Visa Facilitation Agreement and not to recognise Russian passports issued in occupied Ukrainian regions.
“Visa facilitation is a token of trust, which Russia’s war of aggression has completely shattered.”
Besides the hiked fees and the lengthier application process, Russian travellers will also face restrictions on multi-entry visas and a longer required list of supporting documents.
Also commenting on the move, Margaritis Schinas, an EU Commission Vice President, said Russia had “completely undermined” the trust on which the existing EU-Russia visa agreement was based.
Under that agreement, Russians had for 15 years enjoyed a streamlined process for getting EU visas, said the BBC.
“Russians should not have easy access to the EU and travelling to the EU as a tourist is not a human right,” said EU home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson on Tuesday.
Tuesday’s move follows a decision last week by EU Foreign Ministers, when they agreed in principle to suspend the existing visa agreement with Moscow.
The plan had been seen as a compromise, with Ukraine and some EU member states calling for a blanket ban, but others like France and Germany opposed to going that far.
Some EU countries bordering Russia have already started to tighten border controls.
The EU Commission is also proposing that the member states should refuse to recognise Russian passports issued in occupied Ukraine.