EU Ambassadors reached an agreement on 12 October not to accept Russian travel documents issued in the occupied regions of Georgia and Ukraine.
According to the decision, Russian travel documents issued in, or to persons residing in, Russian-occupied Georgian or Ukrainian regions will not be accepted as valid travel documents for obtaining a visa or crossing the borders of the Schengen area.
The Council of the EU’s press release underscored that the decision “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 recognize the independence of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008,” it added.
The press release noted that while Russian travel documents issued in these regions are already not recognized or in the process of not being recognized by EU member states, this decision aims to outline a common approach and ensure the “proper function of the external border and common visa policies, and safeguard the security of EU member states.”
The next step is for the Czech Republic, which holds the current Presidency, to invite the European Parliament to start discussing the matter and come to a final agreement.