The ban on entering the Baltic countries for Russian citizens will come into force within 10 days
The ban for Russian citizens with Schengen visas to cross the borders of the Baltic countries will come into force in the next ten days, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgar Rinkevich said on Wednesday.
Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have reached an agreement on significant border crossing restrictions for Russian citizens with Schengen visas. The final decisions will be made at the national level.
Rinkevich stressed that citizens of the Russian Federation with short-term Schengen visas will not be able to cross the external border of the EU in the Baltic countries. The Latvian Foreign Minister drew attention to the fact that last week the EU agreed to suspend the 2007 agreement on the procedure for issuing visas to Russian citizens.
Only those Russian citizens who meet the criteria set by the Lithuanian government will be able to enter and leave Lithuania, and these criteria should be developed by the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in consultation with other countries in the region.
The European Commission has approved a proposal to suspend visa facilitation between the EU and Russia, and the EU Council is expected to approve this proposal this week. For citizens of the Russian Federation, applying for a Schengen, visa will be cost 85 Euros against 35 Euros before. The standard application processing time will be increased from 10 to 15 days, and in some cases up to 45 days. Opportunities to obtain multiple entry visas will also be limited. Visa applicants will also be required to provide additional documents.