Switzerland Stops Accepting Russian Travel Documents Issued From Occupied Areas in Ukraine & Georgia

Switzerland Stops Accepting Russian Travel Documents Issued From Occupied Areas in Ukraine & Georgia

The Swiss authorities have announced that Switzerland is no longer accepting Russian travel documents issued in Ukraine and Georgia.

According to the Federal Council of Switzerland, new travel documents issued in Russian-occupied regions as well as in breakaway territories of Georgia will not be recognized as valid travel documents to cross the external Schengen borders.

In addition, travel documents issued in the Russian-occupied territories will also not be accepted for obtaining a visa.

This policy has started being effective immediately. However, the Swiss authorities pointed out that exceptions are possible in cases when the person who holds such a document was a Russian citizen prior to the cut-off date.

The decision of Switzerland to no longer accept Russian travel documents issued in Ukraine and Georgia follows European Union Council’s adoption.

The EU Council adopted the decision to not accept Russian travel documents issued in Ukrainian regions as well as in Georgian territories on 08 December 2022, and said that those who hold these types of documents would not be able to use them to travel to the bloc.

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The EU has repeatedly condemned in the strongest possible terms Russia’s military actions in Ukraine and expressed full solidarity with the people of Ukraine. 

The Council also noted that the decision which was adopted on December 8 also follows the one-sided decision taken in 2008 to recognise the independence of two Georgian territories – the territory of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

According to the Council, the decision to no longer accept such documents aims to ensure the effective and appropriate functioning of the external border and visa policies. Furthermore, the measure also aims to safeguard the security of Member States of the EU and lay out a common approach.

The EU Council notes that Russia has issued passports for Crimea residents since 2014 and the same pointed out that later on, in 2019, this practice was extended to include areas of Luhansk and Donetsk, and was followed by the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions in 2022.

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