The EU should make it clear to Russian citizens that supporting the war against Ukraine will have consequences for them as well.
This was stated by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala to journalists on the eve of an informal meeting in Prague of EU foreign ministers.
“We are convinced that it is necessary to send a clear signal to the Russian community about the consequences of supporting aggression against Ukraine, namely by stopping the agreement on visa facilitation with Russia completely,” Fiala said.
He reminded that the Czech Republic was one of the first to apply such measure. At the same time, the Czech Republic respects the position of other countries that do not support this step, but tries to convince them that giving up at least tourist visas “would be the right thing to do”.
In particular, Prague understands Berlin’s fears that the denial of visas would negatively affect civil society and the democratic opposition. But, Fial noted, all the proposals do not mean that representatives of the opposition or those threatened by the Russian regime will not be able to enter the EU. The Czech Republic, in particular, has recently issued a number of visas to human rights activists from Russia.
“Consultations will continue, but the Czech position is known from the beginning,” the Prime Minister said.