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Eight EU countries call for restriction of Russian diplomats' movement

Thursday, 13 June 2024, 14:07
Eight EU countries call for restriction of Russian diplomats' movement
Stock Photo: Getty Images

Eight EU foreign ministers have urged the EU to ban Russian diplomats from travelling freely in the Schengen area and restrict their movement to countries where they are accredited.

Source: Reuters, citing a letter from the ministers to Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, as reported by European Pravda

Details: The letter was signed by the foreign ministers of Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, and Romania.


"Free movement of holders of Russian diplomatic and service passports, accredited in one host state, across the whole Schengen area is easing malign activities," reads the letter, dated 11 June, which was seen by Reuters.

The ministers stated that intelligence, propaganda "or even preparation of sabotage acts are the main workload for a large number of Russian 'diplomats' in the EU". The letter further notes that while expulsions are crucial, the threat remains.

"We believe the EU should strictly follow the reciprocity principle and restrict the movement of members of Russian diplomatic missions and their family members to territory of a state of their accreditation only," they said.


The letter's authors believe this measure will significantly narrow the operational space for Russian intelligence assets.


  • In late May, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski announced that Warsaw would impose restrictions on the movement of Russian embassy staff on Polish territory.
  • The foreign minister explained that the so-called Russian diplomats’ movement will be limited to Mazovia (a region in eastern Poland), while consuls’ movement will be limited to the voivodeships where they are stationed. The Polish foreign minister noted that an exception would be granted to the embassy's chief.
  • Czechia suggested including restrictions on the movement of Russian diplomats within the Schengen area in the EU sanctions package starting in the summer of 2023. Still, the proposal has not gained much backing to date.

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