(QHA) -

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday that Russia would defend the rights of Crimeans to travel abroad amid EU ban on issue visas, including Schengen, to Crimea residents.

The visa ban comes as Crimea seceded from Ukraine and was annexed by Russia in March, a move that is not recognized neither by EU and US nor by Kyiv.

Lavrov, meanwhile, described the ban as unlawful.

“It is not based on any international legal document. On the contrary, the EU is violating commitments which its members took on under the European Convention on Human Rights,”- Lavrov told the students and professors of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).

The European Union has banned to issue all kinds of European visas, including Schengen, to Crimeans in the embassies and in the visa centers of EU countries on Russian territory. Crimean residents now need to contact the embassy of the relevant countries in Ukraine to obtain the visas.

Crimea seceded from Ukraine and was annexed by Russia in March, the move, however was not recognized neither by UN and US nor by Kyiv.

QHA