The Council of the European Union adopted the decision not to accept passports and other travel documents issued by Russia in the occupied regions of Ukraine and Georgia.
As a result of the decision, Russian travel documents issued in these regions will not be accepted as valid travel documents for obtaining a visa or crossing the borders of the Schengen area.
It should be noted that Russian travel documents issued in these regions are already not recognized or in the process of not being recognized by EU member states. Hence, this decision is aimed at setting out a common approach, ensuring the proper functioning of the external border, and safeguarding the security of EU member states.
The Council of EU’s official press release noted that the decision is a direct 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 said.
Earlier on 24 November, the European Parliament endorsed the decision with 531 votes in favor, 7 against, and 34 abstentions. Before that, on November 10, the EU Council presidency and the European Parliament said that they reached a provisional agreement on a decision on the non-acceptance of Russian travel documents issued in Ukraine and Georgia.
On October 12, EU Ambassadors reached an agreement not to accept Russian travel documents issued in the occupied regions of Georgia and Ukraine.