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30 May, 2024
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Travel documents issued by Russian occupied territories not accepted by EU

These travel documents can no longer be used for visa applications or crossing the EU's external borders

Source: Schengen Visa Info

The Members of the European Parliament will no longer accept travel documents that authorities in Russia issue in the territories that have been illegally occupied in Ukraine as well as Georgia, the European Parliament confirmed through a statement.

The Parliament approved the mandate for negotiations with the Council regarding a legislative proposal on the non-recognition of travel documents issued by authorities in Russia, in occupied territories in Ukraine and Georgia, for the purpose of issuing a visa or when planning to cross the EU’s external borders, reports.

The European Parliament approved its mandate for negotiations with the European Council by 540 votes in favor, six against and 36 abstaining.

In addition, the Members of the European Parliament have stressed that the annexation of Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine by Russia goes against the law while stressing that EU condemned Russia’s decision to recognize the independence of the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia.

“EU member states and EEA allies should no longer accept travel documents issued by Russia in these regions. According to the proposal, the Commission should consult EU member states and draw up a list of Russian travel documents that should not be accepted going forward,” MEPs pointed out, according to the statement provided by the European Parliament.

The Members of the European Parliament also adopted new changes to the Council’s position. They also highlighted everyone’s right to flee the war in Ukraine and to enter the European Union on humanitarian rights.

“The Parliament’s position also empowers the Commission to add new regions to the list of occupied territories or remove them via delegated acts -which do not require a vote by the co-legislators, but to which both the Council and the Parliament may object-. In this regard, MEPs ask the Commission to involve the Parliament and Council at an early stage when preparing these delegated acts,” the statement reads.

The statement also emphasizes that the Parliament, as well as the Council, will negotiate the final form of the act. As soon as the final form of the act is officially adopted by institutions and published in the Official Journal of the EU, it will become effective on the day after its publication.

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine led authorities in EU countries to impose sanctions that often have been considered the harshest introduced in recent years.

Recently, The European Council President, Charles Michel, said that the Member States should allow entry to Russians fleeing their country.

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