EU Borrell: Visa ban for all Russians would lack needed support

EUEuropean Union foreign ministers meeting later this week are unlikely to unanimously back a visa ban for all Russians, as would be needed to put such a ban in place, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told Austrian ORF television on Sunday.

“I don’t think cutting ties with the Russian civilian population will help and I don’t think this idea will get the required unanimity,” said Borrell, who chairs EU meetings of foreign ministers, the national broadcaster said.

“I think we need to review the way some Russians get visas, certainly not the oligarchs. We need to be more selective. But I am not in favor of stopping issuing visas to all Russians.

Some countries have demanded collective action to prevent ordinary Russians from traveling to the EU on tourist visas, in the latest challenge for the bloc as it tries to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine while maintaining the unity among its 27 members.

Countries like the Czech Republic and Poland stopped issuing visas to Russian tourists shortly after President Vladimir Putin ordered the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February.

They have since demanded that Brussels enact a full ban, echoing a call from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

But others continued to grant travel documents, allowing Russians with visas to travel anywhere within the Schengen free movement area.

(Reuters)

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