The decrease in the number of issued visas is associated not only with the restrictions imposed on the travel of Russians to Poland, but also with the reduction in the staff of embassies after the mutual expulsion of diplomats, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the republic explained
Over the past six months, Poland has issued several times fewer visas to Russians than a year earlier, the Rzeczpospolita newspaper reported, citing data from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the republic.
According to the agency’s statistics, from February 24 to On August 9, Russians received 4,513 visas, including one student, 14 tourist, 813 workers and 659 humanitarian.
Over the past year, Poland issued 31,297 visas to Russians, including 17,388 workers, almost a thousand educational and 95 tourist visas.
As explained in the Polish Foreign Ministry, the decrease is due not only to the decisions of the authorities regarding visiting the republic (at the end of March, the Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs issued a decree banning Russians from entering solely for tourism purposes), but also with “a significant reduction in the number of diplomatic and administrative-technical personnel in Polish consular offices in Russia.”
In April, Russia expelled 45 Polish diplomats and employees of the embassy and consulates general. According to RMF, after their departure, only ten employees remained in the Polish diplomatic mission.
The decision to expel Polish diplomats was a response to the expulsion of a similar number of Russian ones. Poland declared 45 Russian diplomats persona non grata in March. Warsaw believes that they were engaged in espionage under diplomatic cover.
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Last week, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Piotr Wawrzyk suggested that Poland would completely stop issuing visas to Russians, and called for such a ban at the EU level. The EU has already begun to discuss such an idea: restrictions have been proposed by several other members, including the Baltic countries. The Kremlin warned that in the case of “emotional decisions” about Schengen, Russia will give an answer.
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