The Russian Foreign Ministry assumes that the actions of the West do not rule out a scenario in which Russian citizens would stop receiving Schengen visas.
Calls to stop issuing Schengen visas to Russians have been recently heard louder and louder in Europe. Although at present such wishes come mainly from odious politicians and some public figures, nevertheless, as the saying goes, there is no smoke without fire.
The consulates of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Poland have almost completely suspended the issuance of Schengen visas to Russian citizens.
According to statistics from the Schengen visa services, such countries as Denmark, Sweden, Norway, France, Belgium and Malta refuse to issue visas most often. Citizens of Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria are the leaders among the “denied persons.” As for our country, there are no citizens of this country in these ranks yet, but, in fact, it has become extremely difficult to obtain a visa to enter Europe. It is noteworthy that consulates are not obliged to report to applicants for a Schengen visa, and in the case of complaints they can simply say that, for example, consular services are currently technically overloaded.
Currently, 12 states issue Schengen visas on the territory of the Russian Federation. Such countries as Greece, Denmark, Austria, Iceland, Italy, France, Sweden and Switzerland accept Russian applications without any reservations. Slovenia and Hungary issue visas only for travel within three months of the date of application, with the presentation of hotel reservations and return tickets. Spain only visits those who have previously had a Schengen visa in their passport for at least a year, and Finland only those who have had a Finnish Schengen visa for at least two years.
Earlier experts of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia advised our tourists to start applying for a Schengen visa at least six months before the trip. Moreover, ATOR stressed that only known and trusted tour operators should be asked for help in processing.
At the moment, there is an acute shortage of free time for registration in the visa centers. The reason for this is not only a rush in demand for Schengen visas, but also the recent mass expulsion of diplomats.
“Even if we imagine that hypothetically the situation of a complete cessation of issuing Schengen visas to Russians will become a reality,” says Ivan Volynkin, Head of the consular department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, “we could count on opportunities to build visa cooperation on a bilateral basis with individual European countries that have an agreement.”
Besides, Volynkin underlined that Russia is for “preservation” of visits of our citizens to Europe and vice versa and hopes for “common sense” of the European Union authorities.