Konstantin Kosachev, a senator at Russia’s Federation Council. who chairs its Foreign Affairs Committee, has complained that Russian citizens could be ‘deprived of their right to travel’ in the European Union.
Kosachev voiced his complaint at a meeting of the Russian upper house’s Foreign Affairs Committee and the French Senate’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces.
The meeting that was arranged to draft a joint report on Russian-French relations, Kosachev asked French senators to pay attention to the issue of granting Schengen visas to Russian citizens.
“The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is currently drafting a report on the Schengen visa issuance. Our colleague, a member of our delegation to PACE, Senator [Irina] Rukavishnikova is the rapporteur. We would welcome if our French colleagues drew attention to the issue and cooperated in drafting this report, as a solution must eventually be found,” Kosachev said during the meeting.
Kosachev told the senators that Russian citizens are required to apply for a Schengen visa to visit France.
“It happens that a certain European country denies entry to some Russian citizen out of their own considerations, but this national decision automatically applies to the entire Schengen zone. Therefore, the Russian citizen, who for some reasons becomes an unwelcome guest on the territory of a particular country of the European Union, is deprived of the opportunity to visit any country within the European Union,” Kosachev complained.
“In our opinion, it is a problem. It is a violation of the right to travel, or human rights,” the senator added.