Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Europe

EU urges stricter border control as Russians flee the war

The EU is encouraging member states to beef up border staff and tighten security checks for Russians fleeing the draft for the war in Ukraine.

European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson issued the urging on Friday, saying countries should assess whether to let in Russians trying to enter Europe on a “case-by-case” basis.

“A stricter approach needs to be applied,” she said. “This requires heightened scrutiny when assessing visa applications of Russian citizens, as well, as particularly thorough checks at the EU external borders.”

She added: “To have a valid visa is not sufficient to be granted access to Schengen or the EU.”

Johansson’s call doesn’t represent a change in EU policy, but comes a day after Finland closed its border to Russian tourists. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have also started to implement entry restrictions for Russian citizens traveling solely for the purpose of tourism or leisure.

A potential end to issuing Russian visas has long caused friction between EU countries, even before Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his recent military mobilization.

The EU has continued to shy away from a bloc-wide ban on Russian tourists. Instead, Brussels has made the visa application process longer and pricier, while allowing individual countries or regions to adopt even stricter measures.

Johansson urged member states to prioritize visas for certain types of Russians, including dissidents and journalists under threat. But tourist visas should be restricted or “deprioritized,” she added, due to the heightened security threat Europe faces with Russia’s increasing aggression in Ukraine.

And at the EU’s borders, Johansson said, countries should “transfer additional staff,” given the growing Russian exodus. Yet EU countries should also apply the same asylum rules for Russians as they do for all other citizens, she added.

Johansson did say EU countries should not accept visa applications from Russians in other non-EU countries, including some former Soviet states.

EU countries have received “a small but significant increase in applications by Russian nationals” for international protection, a European Union Agency for Asylum spokesman told POLITICO. Between January and July, countries got over 7,300 applications, according to EUAA data.

“The Agency is monitoring the impact of the partial mobilization of reservists,” he added.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like

Europe

NATO countries urgently need to boost weapons production, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned ahead of a meeting of the alliance’s ministers this week....

Europe

BERLIN — In a new effort to attract talented foreign workers to the country, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced plans to reform Germany’s immigration system...

Europe

LONDON — Rishi Sunak sought to up his rhetoric on China on Monday while carefully opening the door to further talks with President Xi...

Technology

Press play to listen to this article Voiced by artificial intelligence. Spain is proving the most troublesome country to probe in EU lawmakers’ ongoing...

Europe

KYIV — It’s all about the weapons — and we’ll do everything to get them to Kyiv.  That was the message from Nordic and...

Europe

Ukraine’s main power operator Ukrenergo announced Monday that it has applied emergency shutdowns throughout the entire country due to a rapidly increasing power deficit....

Energy

EU countries resumed last-ditch talks on Monday to secure agreement on a price cap for Russian oil, with deep splits among them on where...

Europe

Police officers are heading to the streets in Brussels on Monday, as officers demand more support from the government over violence against cops. The...