The EU calls for restrictions on the movement of Russian diplomats


Eight ministers of foreign affairs of the countries of the European Union called on the EU to ban Russian diplomats from moving freely through the Schengen zone and to limit their movement to the countries where they are accredited. 

This is reported by the agency Reuters with reference to the letter of the ministers to the head of the EU foreign policy department, Josep Borrell.

The signatories of the letter were the ministers of foreign affairs of the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, and Romania.

"The free movement of holders of Russian diplomatic and service passports accredited in one host state throughout the Schengen area facilitates malicious activity," - said in the letter dated June 11, which was seen by the Reuters agency.

The ministers stated that intelligence, propaganda "or even the preparation of acts of sabotage are the main workload for a large number of Russian "diplomats" in the EU." The letter added that while deportation is important, the threat remains.

"We believe that the EU should strictly adhere to the principle of reciprocity and limit the movement of members of Russian diplomatic missions and members of their families only to the territory of the state of their accreditation." - they noted.

The authors of the letter believe that this measure will significantly narrow the operational space for Russian agents.

We will remind, at the end of May, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Radoslav Sikorsky, announced that Warsaw will introduce restrictions on the movement of employees of the Russian embassy on Polish territory.

He explained that Russian "diplomats" will be allowed to move only within the boundaries of Mazovia (territory in the east of Poland. - Ed.), and consuls - only in those voivodeships where they are in office. An exception will be made for the head of the embassy, ​​the head of the Polish Foreign Ministry added.

As you know, the Czech Republic proposed to include restrictions on the movement of diplomats from Russia through the Schengen zone in the European Union's sanctions packages from the summer of 2023, but so far the idea has not gained significant support.

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