Updated: Three EU countries issue Schengen visas to Crimeans in Russia – Russian media

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2014/11/07 • Political News

UPDATE November 7: In a statement, the Czech Embassy in Moscow denied the Izvestiya report claiming that Crimean residents could apply for Schengen visas in Moscow. “If the [Crimean] peninsula inhabitants want to travel to the EU, they must apply for visas on Ukrainian territory, not in Russia,” the statement read. The embassy further reaffirmed that EU member states do not recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Visa centers in Moscow of three EU countries are issuing Schengen visas to Crimean citizens, despite the ban imposed by the European Union.

These countries are Italy, the Czech Republic and Greece, reports Russian newspaper Izvestiya.

The publication notes that this information was confirmed by tour companies and visa centers.

De jure Schengen countries refuse to issue visas to citizens living in Crimea, but de facto there are some countries who issue them,” says a source from one of the tour agencies in Crimea.

According to him, Greece, Italy and the Czech Republic are ready to compromise.

According to the representatives of the Italian visa centers, Schengen visa applications from Russian citizens registered in Crimea are examined and approved according to general terms and regulations (between 3 days and 2 weeks).

The Czech visa center also did not exclude the possibility of Crimeans applying; however, they noted that to examine them they need consent from the consulate department of the Czech Embassy – it was recently given a special directive regarding Crimea.

We failed to obtain comment from the Greek visa center, and the Greek Embassy redirected us to get comments from the EU representation in Moscow.

It should be noted that an EU Pravda correspondent managed to file a visa application using the online service of the Italian visa center in Moscow without any problem, having noted Ukrainian nationality and Crimean registration.

Similarly, registration was successful when a Ukrainian applicant handed in their documents to the Czech Embassy in Moscow through the Czech MFA service.

Izvestiya also reports that there is a possibility for Crimean citizens to be granted a Schengen visa using their Russian passport at the Netherlands’ visa center. However, a press service worker from the Dutch Embassy, Nadi Vervaal, denied this in a comment and underlined that Crimeans have to apply for visas on the territory of Ukraine.

We failed to find information about the ban on Crimean applications for visas on the visa center website.

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
Edited by: Andrew Kinder
Source: EU Pravda

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