Five years later, the differences over Ukraine are far from resolved. And yet, the EU should not create new obstacles for Russians travelling to the West. On the contrary, EU politicians have repeatedly argued that communication between citizens is essential and that it must be supported. A derogation from the sanctions regime specifically applicable to the resumption of the visa dialogue would support this principle. 3. Visa application processing fees shall be imposed for the following categories of persons: the Member of the State shall be responsible for examining the visa application and finding the solution: Visa facilitation agreements promote people-to-people contacts between EU citizens and nationals of countries outside the Agreement. The agreements facilitate the issuance of short-stay visas not exceeding 90 days of stay over a period of 180 days. Different categories of visa applicants are subject to different requirements, with visas of up to five years being issued. As a general rule, family members and official visitors are entitled to 5-year visas depending on the country, while other categories are eligible for visas valid between 1 and 5 years. 3. For the categories of citizens referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, all categories of visas shall be issued in accordance with the simplified procedure, without the need to justify, invite or confirm the purpose of the journey provided for by the legislation of the Contracting Parties.

Visas are one of the most visible obstacles to travel from Russia to the European Union. This is why the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum is leading an expert group on visa projects to provide visa expertise. A second report describing eu-Russia visa relations after the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis was recently published. The lifting of the visa requirement is a sign of compliance with the strict requirements of the European Union in the country concerned. So far, citizens of almost 100 third countries need a visa to enter the European Union. As the country`s relations with the EU improve and intensify, Brussels may decide to sign a visa facilitation agreement, reduce the cost of visas, or allow certain social/professional categories to obtain multiple visas for free. . . .