The European Union has made another move to show that it does not intend to support Crimea’s annexation by Russia, and the Donbass armed conflict. In its most recent move, the EU has decided to no longer grant Schengen visas to residents of the Crimean peninsula and the region of Donbass with passports issued by the Russian Federation after March 2014.
The new measure was announced by the Ambassador of the European Union to the Russian Federation, Markus Ederer. During an interview, Ederer said that Crimeans who got their passports within the last 5 years will be granted with a Schengen visa only if they apply with a Ukrainian non-biometric passport.
“Russian passports issued in the Crimea by the Russian authorities after annexation will not be recognized and will not be accepted when applying for a Schengen visa,” he said. “Many residents of Crimea have a Ukrainian passport or can receive it because Ukraine still considers Ukrainian citizens to be Crimean residents. Residents of Crimea can use these Ukrainian non-biometric passports.”
In addition, the European Union is working on recommendations for the identification and possible non-recognition of passports issued by Russia in the Donbass, after Moscow decided to begin simplified issuance of Russian citizenship to inhabitants of the Donbass.
Latvia and Lithuania have already decided to deny Schengen visas to residents of Donbass holding Russian passports, without the EU adopting a unified decision yet.
Residents of Crimea and Donbass with Ukraine non-biometric passport will be able to apply for a Schengen visa to the Schengen consulates located in Ukraine. Those applying at the consulates in Russia will be rejected.