The Czech Republic will not issue visas and residence permits to citizens of Russia and Belarus until the end of March 2023. The government supported the proposal of the Czech Foreign Ministry, informs České noviny. An exception will be made for trips for humanitarian purposes.
Such a measure is designed to “protect the foreign policy interests of the Czech Republic” in connection with military operations in Ukraine and put pressure on Russia and Belarus, the authorities explained.
The Czech Republic suspended the issuance of visas to Russians and Belarusians after Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. Former candidate for the presidency of Belarus Svetlana Tikhanovskaya reported that Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky promised to resume issuing visas to Belarusians.
Later, the Czech authorities announced the launch of a program for simplified issuance of a residence permit and a long-term visa for activists from Russia and Belarus. It was reported that Russians and Belarusians who are “freedom fighters, defenders of human rights, representatives of civil society, independent media or academia”, as well as citizens who are persecuted by the state or forced to leave the country in order to security. The program is designed for one year with the possibility of extension. The annual quota is 500 applicants.
Earlier, the German authorities decided to simplify the issuance of a national visa and residence permit to Russian oppositionists, human rights activists, lawyers and journalists. They are allowed to come to Germany with their families, they will be able to enter not only from Russia, but also from other countries.
Andrey Loshak made the film “Breaking Communication” about how families are falling apart because of different views on the war. Watch the premiere on the TV channel “Real Time”: