EU ambassadors today agreed a mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament on a decision on the non-acceptance of Russian travel documents issued in Ukraine and Georgia, Council of the EU has said.
In its statement, the Council explained that this 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 recognise the independence of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008.
The Council claims that this 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.”
“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 statement reads.
On the basis of this mandate, the presidency is ready to start discussions with the European Parliament.