Foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) member states have agreed to suspend a visa facilitation agreement the bloc has with Russia, the EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell said here on Wednesday, reported Xinhua.
"We agree today with EU foreign ministers on full suspension of the EU-Russia visa facilitation agreement," Borrell, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, told a press conference after the ministers' two-day informal meeting here.
He said that until now, the 2007 agreement that makes it easier for Russian citizens to obtain Schengen visas, was "partially suspended" for special collectives and groups of Russians — officials and entrepreneurs — but now it is "fully suspended."
"It means that it will significantly reduce the number of new visas issued by the EU member states," Borrell said, adding that the process to get a visa is going to be "longer and more difficult."
As the situation in the EU countries bordering Russia is becoming "challenging," Borrell said these member states can take national measures to restrict EU entry through their borders.