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Switzerland refuses to recognize Russian-issued passports in occupied Ukrainian territories

Switzerland refuses to recognize Russian-issued passports in occupied Ukrainian territories Illustrative photo (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

Switzerland will not recognize passports issued by Russia in the occupied territories of Ukraine and Georgia, according to the Federal Council of Switzerland.

"Individuals from the regions of Ukraine occupied by Russia or self-declared regions of Georgia will no longer be able to obtain Schengen visas or cross the external border of the Schengen Zone with travel documents issued by Russia," the statement reads.

It is noted that the EU has clarified its current practice regarding this matter, and the Federal Council of Switzerland adopted this rule during its session.

Switzerland specifies that they will not recognize regular passports and diplomatic passports, residence permits for stateless individuals, return certificates, and documents identifying seafarers.

Different issuance dates have been established for Ukraine, depending on the region, for documents that will no longer be accepted.

This decision also applies to Georgia

It is explained that a date (August 26, 2008) has been determined for the occupied territories of Georgia, after which Russian travel documents will not be valid.

"In August 2008, Russia declared the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. Not all countries followed this example, and Switzerland considers these regions an integral part of Georgia," explained the Federal Council.

In certain cases, documents may be recognized

As a member of the Schengen Agreement, Switzerland is obligated to adopt decisions made by the EU.

Despite the restrictions, visas can be issued for humanitarian reasons, in the interest of national security, or in connection with international obligations.

Forced passport issuance

Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukrainian territory, terrorists have been carrying out annexation activities and forcing people to renounce Ukrainian citizenship in the occupied territories.

The majority of Ukrainians refuse the Russian tricolor, leading the Russians to regularly resort to threats and blackmail. Today, it was reported that Russia is dissatisfied with the low pace of passport issuance in the occupied territories of the Luhansk region since the beginning of the full-scale invasion by the terrorist country.

Yesterday, Switzerland adopted a decision to impose additional sanctions against Russia.