Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic openly opposed the decision of the European authorities not to grant Schengen visas to the citizens of the Crimea, who had acquired Russian passports.
In March the EU officials claimed that “the inhabitants of the Crimea can be granted a Schengen visa only via Kiev and only if they are the bearers of a Ukrainian passport”. However visa centers of the four EU members in Moscow are granting visas to the Russian citizens living in the Crimea, in spite of this. This information was confirmed by the representatives of the visa centers. “De jure the countries of the Schengen zone do have not agreed to grant the visas to the citizens living in the Crimea, but de- facto there is a series of countries, who are granting the visas”, told the journalists a worker of one of the Crimean travel agencies. In the visa centers of other EU members everything remains unchanged: the applications are accepted in Kiev only. Germany is the most categorical country in regard to the granting of visas to the Crimean inhabitants. It is using visa denials as a weapon in its fight for Ukrainian status of the peninsula.
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