Belgian ambassador in Moscow: EU is not interested in the abolition of visas with Russia
Belgian ambassador in Moscow, Guy Trouveroy in an interview with “Russian news service” explained why EU does not want to introduce visa-free regime with Russia. The ambassador noted that even if Russia cancels visas for foreigners unilaterally, EU is not going to do the same. The best that can Europe do is to simplify the visa regime, which will be of a procedural nature.
The main reason for the reluctance to create a unified visa-free space is the problem of Russia with Northern Caucasus. EU is simply afraid of a flood of refugees and illegal migrants who poured into Europe in the case of open borders.
As the ambassador said, Europe has already enough problems with illegal immigration: in particular, many refugees arrived from North Africa and Italy.
However, as noted by the Head of the Department of European Integration Research Institute of Europe Olga Potemkin to “Russian news service”, the problem of the North Caucasus has emerged in the negotiations on visa regime and suggests that the abolition of visas has become a bargaining chip.
As noted by the expert, with the abolition of visa procedures customs control are not simplified, so it does not affect the increase of migration flows.
The negotiations on abolishing visas began May 31, 2010, when Russia gave Europe a draft agreement. Since then, leaders of various countries on several occasions expressed the pros and cons of the cancellation, but there were no real steps toward the establishment of visa-free space from the European Union.