In response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, several member states are actively lobbying for a ban or heavy restrictions on Russian citizens entering the bloc.
“It is not appropriate for Russian tourists to roam our cities and marinas. We must send a signal to the Russian people that this war is not good, it is not acceptable,” a senior EU official told the newspaper.
Suspending the deal will make the application process for all EU visas more complex and expensive, as well as increase waiting times.
Additional restrictions are expected to be adopted by the end of the year, an EU official told the FT.
SOME COUNTRIES HAVE ALREADY STOPED
Countries such as Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia and Latvia have already stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said this week that Russian tourists pose a security threat to the country and that the travel ban may encourage some Russians to “pressure” the Kremlin.
Others, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, have opposed a complete ban on Russian travelers.
They argued that the bloc should not punish ordinary Russians for the actions of their government.
Moscow described the proposed measures as “open nationalism” and xenophobia.
The Kremlin also expressed hope that “common sense” will eventually prevail.