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 Moscow to avenge EU's "visa genocide" against Crimeans, - Russian Foreign Ministry

Russia considers the non-issuance of visas to Crimean residents to be at odds with all sorts of international obligations.

Censor.NET reports citing TASS quoting Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov as saying.

Read more: Pinchuk: "Compromise on Crimea impossible. Annexation is illegal. Occupation is temporary. Crimea is Ukrainian"

"The non-issuance of visas on the territorial basis, on the basis of citizens' will or political views is at odds with various international commitments of the countries that resort to such steps," he said. "We believe that it is, in fact, an unjustified collective punishment of Crimean and Sevastopol residents, resembling a kind of visa genocide."

According to the diplomat, 13 EU countries, as well as members of the Schengen zone Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Norway, have joined the nonbinding guidelines on lodging Schengen visa applications by the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol developed by the European Commission and the European External Action Service in July 2016.

"They decided not to recognize Russian civil passports issued to residents of Crimea and Sevastopol both in the peninsula and other regions of Russia," Meshkov complained.

Read more: "That was a taking of territory," - secretary of state nominee Tillerson on occupation of Crimea

He added Russia applies countermeasures against these countries, being rather unpleasant on the one hand and in line with existing Russian commitments in the sphere of migration on the other.

"I would prefer not to comment yet on these measures. These countries have been warned of their character," the official said.
 
 
 
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