Member states have adopted a decision on the non-acceptance of Russian travel documents issued in Ukraine and Georgia.
Vít Rakušan, Minister of the Interior of the Czech Republic, said, “Russia’s continued war of aggression against Ukraine is a blatant disregard of the rules-based international order, which puts European peace and security at risk. Today’s decision by the Council is further proof that we stand firmly with Ukraine. We will never recognise the illegal annexation of its territory by Russia, and we reiterate Ukraine’s right to liberate and regain full control of all occupied territories.”
The decision, taken last Thursday, is a response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine and Russia’s practice of issuing Russian international passports to residents of the occupied regions. It also follows Russia’s unilateral decision to recognise the independence of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008.
Russian travel documents issued in, or to persons resident in, Russian-occupied regions in Ukraine or breakaway territories in Georgia will not be accepted as valid travel documents for obtaining a visa or crossing the borders of the Schengen area.
Russian travel documents issued in these regions are already not recognised, or in the process of not being recognised, by EU member states.
The decision aims to set out a common approach, ensure the proper functioning of the external border and common visa policies and safeguard the security of EU member states.