European Union interior ministers on Thursday confirmed the political agreement between institutions not to recognize any Russian travel documents issued in the occupied areas of Ukraine or Georgia, a move as part of the common response to Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine.
Thus, passports issued in Russian-occupied regions in Ukraine or in dissident territories in Georgia (Abkhazia and South Ossetia) will have to be rejected by EU countries, which will also not recognize the travel documents needed to process a visa or enter the Schengen border-free area.
Although the Member States already individually reject Russian consular documents issued in the occupied regions of Ukraine and Georgia, the EU-27 wanted to provide a common framework and thus ensure the proper functioning of the EU’s external border.
«Russia’s continuing war of aggression against Ukraine is a blatant disregard for the rules-based international order, endangering European peace and security,» said Czech Interior Minister and EU rotating presidency Vit Rakusan.
«Today’s decision by the Council is further proof that we stand firmly behind Ukraine. We will never recognize Russia’s illegal annexation of its territory and reiterate Ukraine’s right to liberate and regain full control over all occupied territories,» he added.