EU’s Borrell says visa ban for Russians would lack support

Josep Borrell

Visa ban for Russians by the EU, according to Borrell, would not be supported.

When they meet later this week, the foreign policy leader for the European Union, Josep Borrell, has predicted that the foreign ministers would not unanimously support a ban on visas for all Russians.

The chief of foreign policy says he supports being more “selective” about granting Russians visas.

Borrell, who preside over meetings of EU foreign ministers, told Austria’s ORF TV on Sunday, “I don’t think that to cut the relationship with the Russian civilian population will help and I don’t think that this idea will have the required unanimity.”

“I think that we have to review the way that some Russians get a visa, certainly the oligarchs not. We have to be more selective. But I am not in favour of stopping delivering visas to all Russians.”

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The bloc’s most recent move to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine would be to impose a ban, which would require unanimous approval from the foreign ministers. When they gather on Tuesday in Prague, they’re more likely to support suspending a visa-facilitation agreement with Moscow.

The move would make travel for Russians far more expensive and challenging.

It would be “inappropriate for Russian tourists to stroll in our cities, on our marinas,” a senior EU official participating in the talks told the Financial Times.

“We have to send a signal to the Russian population that this war is not OK, it is not acceptable,” the official said, according to the newspaper.