Kremlin: EU visa restrictions on Russians are ‘ridiculous’

MOSCOW (Reuters) -The Kremlin said on Thursday that a European Union decision to scrap a simplified visa regime for Russian tourists was “ridiculous” and bad news for Russian citizens.

In a conference call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was studying options for how to respond.

EU foreign ministers agreed on Wednesday to scrap a deal that allows Russians to apply for visas to the 26-member Schengen Zone in a streamlined process because of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.

Some Baltic and Nordic members were pushing for a complete ban on tourist visas for Russian citizens.

“This is bad for Russians, because it will take longer and be more difficult to get a visa,” Peskov said on Thursday. “This is another ridiculous decision in an ongoing series of absurdities.”

Peskov hinted Russia could retaliate in kind, saying that the EU’s decision would “make the situation more difficult for Europeans as well” and that Moscow would respond in a way that “best suits its interests”.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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