North-Eastern Europe is dragging the Franco-Germans: this is demonstrated by the suspension of the Russian visa facilitation agreement. Since the beginning of the war, EU policy on Russia has been elaborated more in Warsaw, Tallinn and Helsinki than in Berlin and Paris
Brussels. The decision by EU foreign ministers on Tuesday to suspend the visa facilitation agreement with Russia constitutes a victory for the group of countries from the east and north that had proposed closing their doors to Russian tourists. Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland and the Czech Republic would have liked to ban all tourist visas, but have clashed with the opposition, as well as the usual pro-Russian suspects (Hungary, Greece and Cyprus), including Germany and France. However, the Franco-German duo had to make important concessions and accept an agreement that, in fact, comes close to a ban. In the future in Russia it will be much more complicated, time-consuming and expensive to obtain a visa to enter the EU. Furthermore, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Finland will be able to deny entry to Russians even if in possession of a regular Schengen visa issued by another member state, on the basis of national security reasons.
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