EU suggesting to impose restrictions on Russian diplomats
(MENAFN) A news agency reported on Tuesday that the European Union is contemplating a proposal to limit the freedom of movement for Russian diplomats within the Schengen area as part of discussions regarding the bloc's 12th round of sanctions on Moscow.
Citing concerns raised by the Czech Republic about the potential for Russian 'agents' to enter countries and evade monitoring within the borderless zone, the proposal suggests that Moscow's diplomatic staff be granted visas and residence permits only permitting travel within their host country, excluding the rest of the Schengen area.
In addition to this, Prague is advocating for the acceptance of only biometric passports within the EU, citing their increased security and difficulty to forge or associate with fake identities.
The concerns expressed by the Czech Republic are particularly focused on Russian officials with Austrian visas working at UN agencies in Vienna, who, under the current system, can freely visit the Czech Republic and other Schengen states.
“There are agents of the GRU [Russia’s foreign military intelligence agency] and other services arriving in Czech territory. It is very complicated in Schengen to control this,” the news outlet mentioned in its report, quoting an anonymous EU official.
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