EU Council Adopts Full Suspension of Visa Facilitation With Russia
At the same time, the proposal does not provide for a total ban on the issuance of visas to the country's citizens, as requested by several EU member states. Brussels also explained that the agreement would be restored as soon as the circumstances that led to the suspension cease. Travel between Russia and the EU became much easier in 2007 when the agreement came into force. Under the document, visa fees were reduced, the rules for obtaining a multientry visa were simplified, the list of necessary documents was reduced and visas for diplomats were abolished. In late February, after the start of the special operation in Ukraine, the EU partially suspended the agreement, canceling preferences for Russian diplomats and other officials, as well as representatives of the Russian business community. Moscow said that it considers the proposal a manifestation of chauvinism and that such a decision will invite retaliatory measures.On February 24, Russia began a military operation in Ukraine, responding to calls for help from the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The West and its allies have responded by imposing comprehensive sanctions against Russia, with the EU pledging to end its dependence on Russian energy supplies. The bloc has already approved seven packages of sanctions against Moscow, including gradual phase-out of Russian oil. The Ukraine crisis and sanctions have resulted in disruptions of supply chains and a spike in energy prices worldwide.