The European Parliament (EP) has endorsed a decision not to accept passports and other travel documents issued by Russia in illegally-occupied regions of Ukraine and Georgia, reads the EP’s statement.
According to the proposal, the Commission should consult EU member states and draw up a list of Russian travel documents, notably passports, which should not be accepted. However, those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine will still be able to enter the EU on humanitarian grounds.
Once the decision has also been officially adopted by the Council and published in the Official Journal of the EU, it will enter into force on the day after its publication.
Russia has been issuing passports to residents of Crimea since the illegal annexation of the peninsula in 2014, and is currently doing so in other non-government-controlled areas of Ukraine. The non-acceptance of these Russian passports would apply when someone requests a visa to enter the EU or when they cross the EU’s external borders.
According to the Commission, almost all member states have already stated that they do not accept Russian passports issued in occupied foreign regions. The proposal aims to produce legal certainty and a coordinated, consistent approach, the statement concluded.