The majority of visas had been issued to Russian citizens before the Russia-Ukraine conflict and "under different geopolitical conditions and considerations," said the release, adding that the influx of Russian citizens to the EU and the Schengen area through their countries’ borders, however, poses "a serious threat" to their "public security and to the overall shared Schengen area."
The agreed "national temporary measures" are not "an outright entry ban" to Russian nationals, the statement said, adding that the restrictions should enter into force in each country by Sept. 19.
The four prime ministers said that they welcome the suspension of the EU visa facilitation agreement with Russia, and called for further measures to "drastically limit the number of visas issued (primarily tourist visas)" and to decrease the flow of Russian citizens into the EU and the Schengen area.
During their informal meeting in Prague on Aug. 30-31, EU foreign ministers agreed to suspend the visa facilitation agreement that allows simplified procedures for the issuance of visas to Russian citizens. The decision, however, has yet to be legalized.
Russia responded on Sunday that it will take serious retaliatory measures if the EU formally introduces visa restrictions on Russian citizens.