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Brussels proposes further strengthening of security and border control for Russian citizens

Brussels is proposing to further tighten controls on the granting of visas to Russian tourists to prevent the entry of people who might pose a “security threat”. These instructions to governments with jurisdiction over the borders come “against geopolitical and security concerns related to Russia’s incursion into Ukraine,” the European Commission explains: “Russia’s recent escalation of the war through military mobilization and fake ‘referendums.’ An increase in the number of conscripts and their families The guidelines call for enhanced security checks when issuing visas to Russians and tighter border controls, in full respect of EU asylum law.

These guidelines call on Member States’ consulates and border authorities to use a higher degree of security control and a coordinated approach in the individual assessment of visa applications of Russian citizens and in the implementation of controls at the Union’s external borders.

European Commissioner for Internal Affairs Ylva Johansson said: “The security threat is real. We are confident that we have a coherent and unified approach to the external borders of the EU towards Russian citizens and also when it comes to the strict rules for issuing short-term visas to Russian citizens. At the same time, Europe will not close its doors to those who really need protection.”

According to Brussels, member states must assess the conditions under which Schengen visas can be issued to Russian citizens in a limited and coordinated manner, and they must use a strict approach when assessing travel justifications, as well as Russian citizens fleeing military mobilization.

If the visa applicant (for example, a deserter from military mobilization) plans to stay in the EU for a long time, “the consulates of the Member States should consider the case in accordance with the national rules applicable to long-term visas.” For short-term visas, consulates are required to use any humanitarian exception in a restrictive manner. Member states are obliged to assess, on the basis of individual verification, whether the statements of Russian citizens can fall into the category of humanitarian reasons.”

According to the European Commission, “the consulates of the member states should also carefully examine the cases of Russians who applied for a short-term visa outside of Russia. Such cases should be addressed to the consulate responsible for your place of residence, usually in the Russian Federation.”

Cancellation and revocation of valid visas

Member States “should also instruct their consulates and border guards to exercise greater control and take a stricter approach to re-evaluating visas already issued to any Russian Federation citizen based on a new examination of the individual situation of the Russian Federation. Current Geopolitical Context”.

The possession of a simple visa does not give an automatic right to enter the Schengen area, recalls the European Commission: “If there are grounds for revocation or annulment, the said decision can be taken by the border guard, regardless of the member. state. issue a visa”.

“The security of the external borders is a prerequisite for the functioning of the Schengen area without internal border controls,” said Brussels, which asks “members to strengthen security controls at the external borders and follow a coordinated approach to the borders of the European Union. The Russian Federation to prevent a Russian citizen from being refused entry at one border by another.

“The identification does not violate the existing legal framework in the field of asylum, including the principle of non-refoulement,” said Brussels.

On September 6, the European Commission proposed a complete suspension of the visa facilitation agreement with the Russian Federation. The EU Council formally voted on the proposal on September 9, and the same day the Commission published guidance for countries to help their consulates deal with short-term visa applications submitted by Russian citizens.

During a high-level meeting on Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) on 26 September, Member States asked the European Commission to update the visa guidelines issued on 9 September and provide guidance on border checks.

Source: El Diario





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