EU Planning to Not Accept Russian Travel Documents Issued in Ukraine & Georgia

The Council of the European Union has announced that EU ambassadors have agreed on a mandate for negotiations with the EU Parliament on a decision on the non-acceptance of Russian travel documents that have been issued in Ukraine and Georgia.

According to the Council, such a decision has been taken in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. It also follows the one-sided decision of Russia to recognise the independence of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008.

Taking into account the above-mentioned, the Council explained that Russian travel documents issued in Russian-occupied regions in Ukraine or in breakaway territories in Georgia would not be recognised as valid travel documents for obtaining a visa.

In addition, Russian travel documents issued in the above-mentioned regions will also not be accepted as valid to cross the borders of the Schengen area, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Commenting on the mandate for negotiations, the Minister of the Interior of the Czech Republic, Vít Rakušan, said that the EU would continue supporting Ukraine and Georgia.

“With its illegal annexation of Ukrainian regions, Russia has once again shown its blatant disregard for the rules-based international order. We will never recognise the violation of Ukraine and Georgia’s fundamental rights to independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. The EU stands united and resolutely with both countries and their people,” the statement of Rakušan reads.

The EU Council highlighted that Russian travel documents issued in the regions mentioned above are already not recognised or in the process of not being recognised by the EU Member States.

In addition, the same pointed out that the decision aims to set out a common approach, safeguard the security of the EU Member States, and ensure the proper functioning of the external border and common visa policies.

Based on this mandate, the presidency is ready to start discussions with the EU Parliament and issue an official recommendation on the matter.

Since the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, Russia issued international passports to residents of Crimea and extended this practice to other areas as well. The issuance of these travel documents in occupied regions constitutes a further infringement of international law, according to the Council, and thus the ambassadors agreed on a mandate for negotiations.

In reaction to the Russian annexation of Crimea and the recent developments in Ukraine, the EU has introduced a series of sanctions

Last week, the EU authorities adopted the eighth package of sanctions against Russia over the illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions. The newly agreed package includes a series of measures intended to weaken Russia’s military capabilities and reinforce pressure on the Russian government.

Source

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