Article European Union: Council Suspends Visa Facilitation Agreement with Russia

On September 9, 2022, the Council of the European Union, the co-legislator of the European Union (EU), decided to fully suspend its visa facilitation agreement with Russia. The agreement had been partially suspended on February 25, 2022, in response to Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine. The decision will apply as of September 12, 2022. (Decision art. 1.) Starting on that date, Russian citizens applying for a short-term visa will be subject to the general visa rules, meaning visa application fees and processing times will increase, additional documentary evidence must be presented, and more restrictive rules for the issuance of multiple-entry visas will apply.

Background to the Decision

On June 1, 2007, the visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Russia entered into force. The purpose of the agreement was to “facilitate people-to-people contacts as an important condition for a steady development of economic, humanitarian, cultural, scientific and other ties” by facilitating “the issuance of visas for an intended stay of no more than 90 days per period of 180 days.” (Agreement, preamble & art. 1.) Article 15, paragraph 5 of the agreement provides that each party may partially or fully suspend it for reasons of public order, protection of national security, or protection of public health. The other party must be notified of the decision within 24 hours after it has entered into force.

The Council Decision to suspend the visa facilitation agreement states that the decision was taken in response to “Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression in Ukraine[,] … a country bordering the European Union[,] … to protect the essential security interests of the European Union and its Member States.” Furthermore, Russia has “violated the Minsk [I and II] agreements by undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence … contrary to [its] international obligations,” and “[t]he military actions … have increased the threats to the public order, national security and public health of the [EU] Member States.”

Related Developments

On September 16, 2022, the Swiss Federal Council (government) decided to fully suspend its visa facilitation agreement with Russia. The agreement had been concluded on September 21, 2009, and entered into force on February 1, 2011. The suspension took effect on September 19, 2022. The Federal Council made the decision to replicate the EU decision to “contribute to a uniform European visa policy.” Switzerland has adopted various sanctions against Russia in line with corresponding EU sanctions.

About this Item

Title

  • European Union: Council Suspends Visa Facilitation Agreement with Russia

Online Format

  • web page

Rights & Access

Publications of the Library of Congress are works of the United States Government as defined in the United States Code 17 U.S.C. §105 and therefore are not subject to copyright and are free to use and reuse.  The Library of Congress has no objection to the international use and reuse of Library U.S. Government works on loc.gov. These works are also available for worldwide use and reuse under CC0 1.0 Universal. 

More about Copyright and other Restrictions.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Credit Line: Law Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

European Union: Council Suspends Visa Facilitation Agreement with Russia. 2022. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-09-20/european-union-council-suspends-visa-facilitation-agreement-with-russia/.

APA citation style:

(2022) European Union: Council Suspends Visa Facilitation Agreement with Russia. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-09-20/european-union-council-suspends-visa-facilitation-agreement-with-russia/.

MLA citation style:

European Union: Council Suspends Visa Facilitation Agreement with Russia. 2022. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-09-20/european-union-council-suspends-visa-facilitation-agreement-with-russia/>.