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EU discusses travel restrictions for Russian diplomats – media

The Czech Republic proposed to limit the possibility of the transfer of diplomats from Russia throughout the territory of the European Union.

European Union countries are debating whether to restrict travel by Russian diplomats after the Czech Republic complained that potential Russian spies evade surveillance thanks to the Schengen zone. The Financial Times writes about it.

Since the start of Russia’s massive invasion of Ukraine, several countries have expelled hundreds of Russian diplomats, saying they were Russian intelligence agents. But others still issue visas to Moscow diplomats, giving them access to the Schengen zone and the right to travel freely to 24 of the 27 EU countries, as well as to Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.

Last week, Prague circulated a document with ideas to avoid it as part of negotiations on the 12th package of EU sanctions against Russia, which have not yet been approved by the union countries.

Last year, the Czech Republic expelled more than 70 Russians in connection with the war against Ukraine and Russia’s possible involvement in the 2014 bombings of an ammunition depot that killed two people.

The Czech Republic now wants Russian diplomats to receive visas and residence permits that allow travel only within the host country, and not to other parts of the Schengen zone. He also suggests that the EU only accept biometric passports, which are harder to forge.

A particular issue raised by Prague concerns officials who receive visas from Austria to work at UN agencies in Vienna and then may travel to the Czech Republic or other countries.

“Agents of the Russian military intelligence GRU and other services have arrived on the territory of the Czech Republic. In the Schengen zone it is very difficult to control,” said an EU diplomat.

The discussions are still in the early stages, and the complex legal issues involved mean that any such changes are unlikely to be made to the sanctions package currently under discussion.

We remind you that, according to media reports, Russia’s permanent representative to the EU, Kirill Logvinov, is probably a spy. He is suspected of secretly working against European interests and spying for Russian intelligence services.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said the number of Russian spies working in the United States is “still very large” despite efforts to expel them from the country.

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Source: korrespondent

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