Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reacted to the European Commission’s (EC) proposal to “fully suspend” the EU’s simplified visa arrangement with Russia on September 6.
In his nightly address, Zelensky said that while it was “not yet a complete visa ban”, it demonstrated to citizens of Russia “that they bear [some] moral responsibility for their state’s aggression against Ukraine and the whole of Europe.”
He said it was “absolutely unacceptable” that Russians who support the “split and mockery of Europe” could be allowed in as tourists, and took aim at Russian “propagandists” that “lie in daily reports and broadcasts” could do so from European capitals.
“Russia has repeatedly sent killers to Europe under the guise of ordinary tourists,” he said, adding that they had “already [sufficiently] admired the spire in Salisbury”.
In a statement, the EC said Russia should not have visa facilitations with the EU while conducting “destructive foreign policy and military aggression towards Ukraine” and demonstrates “a complete disregard to the international rules-based order.”
“The suspension is in response to increased risks and threats to the Union’s security interests and the national security of the Member States as result of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine,” the Commission said. “This means that Russian citizens will no longer enjoy privileged access to the EU and face a lengthier, more expensive and more difficult visa application process.” Credit: Volodymyr Zelensky via Storyful