The Czech embassy in Moscow today dismissed the claim by the Russian daily Izvestiya that the Czech Republic together with three other EU countries issues Schengen visas to Crimea residents in spite of Brussels's ban, Prague Post informs.
The European Union and all its member states do not recognize Crimean annexation. All Ukrainian residents interested in gaining a Schengen visa from the Czech Republic must still file their visa applications with the consular sections of the Czech Republic's diplomatic representations in Ukraine or in the visa centers in Ukraine,”- the embassy wrote.
Izvestiya, however, claims that the consular offices of minimally four EU countries — the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands — are ready to make “compromises.”
“A great role is played in this by the collection of consular fees and the economic situation in the destination country,” the paper wrote.
Izvestiya wrote that the breach of the EU practice has also been confirmed for it by workers of Russian organizations mediating the visa applications.
Alexander Osaulenko, vice-president of the Russian Tourist Industry Union, told the paper the loyalty of certain European countries depends on the volume of tourism revenues.
He said the Czech and Greek visa practice is influenced by their businesses' interests. “Russians spend there around $1,000 dollars during a two-week stay, which ranks them among the three most welcome guests,” Osaulenko told Izvestiya.