The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, believes the European Union should welcome Russians seeking to flee the partial military mobilisation in their country.
As already reported, the current Commission guidelines of 9 September to support Member States in handling short-stay visa applications lodged by Russian citizens are restrictive and require strict assessments of security risks and enhanced scrutiny of Russians applying for entry to EU.
In principle non-essential travel is deprioritized and the EU is only open to those who need to be protected, like journalists, dissidents, human rights activists, and people travelling for family reasons. The category of Russians who want to avoid military service and to take refuge in the EU was not foreseen in the guidelines.
Speaking to Politico, Charles Michel said that the European Union should show “openness towards those who do not want to be exploited by the Kremlin.”