Hungarian Foreign Minister promised to continue issuing Schengen visas to Russians

Hungarian Foreign Minister Szijjarto promised to continue issuing Schengen visas to Russians According to Peter Szijjarto, he “respects” the decisions of countries that have introduced visa restrictions, but Budapest did not make such decisions

Peter Szijjarto

Hungary will continue to issue Schengen visas to Russians visas; no decision was made to terminate their registration, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó said in an interview with TASS on the sidelines of the high-level week of the UN General Assembly.

“There is a clear methodology for issuing visas to tourists from countries with which there is no visa facilitation agreement. This is a more complicated and slightly longer procedure than when such an agreement exists. But if it is not there, it does not mean that we do not issue visas. Of course, we will continue to issue visas in accordance with the procedure,— Szijjarto said.

The head of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry clarified that we are talking about Schengen visas, including multiple entries.

At the same time, he noted that he “respects” decisions of countries that have introduced visa restrictions.

“But to discuss them— not my job. We did not make such a decision. Why should we do this? We will continue issuing visas to Russian citizens, — stressed the minister.

Budapest also, according to Szijjártó, will never agree to support energy and nuclear sanctions that would harm national interests.

“And, to be honest, I don’t see how difficulties with our energy security will help Ukraine,” — he pointed out.

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According to him, he is “not very happy” discussion in the EU of the next package of sanctions against Russia, “because so far experience shows that the sanctions we have imposed are causing more damage to ourselves.”

Szijjarto declared that he was “always very honest” with Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov and told him about the “extremely serious” the impact of hostilities in Ukraine on Hungary. “So the sooner this is over, the better,” — concluded the minister.

Amid hostilities in Ukraine and calls for visa restrictions for Russian tourists, the EU suspended the visa facilitation agreement with Russia on September 12. This means that the visa fee has increased from 35 to 80 euros, and the standard visa processing time— from ten to 15 days (with the possibility of extension up to a maximum of 45 days in some cases). In addition, it will be more difficult to obtain multiple-entry visas and you will have to collect more documents.

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, bordering with Russia, have banned entry for Russians with Schengen visas since September 19.

23 September, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto announced his intention to limit transit for tourists from Russia.

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