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MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. Actions of the European Union for the creation of obstacles to getting Schengen visas by Crimean residents are deliberate infringement on the rights of the peninsula’s residents of all nationalities, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Monday.
"Because of non-recognition of the fact of reunification of Crimea and Sevastopol with the Russian Federation, the European Union countries closed their consular offices and visa centers on the peninsula and accept visa documents only at the consular offices in Ukraine," he said. "The victims of such policy are residents of Crimea and Sevastopol who for known reasons have serious difficulties with getting Schengen visas."
"In this situation, the regularly issued statements by various state and public-political figures form the EU countries that are "concerned" about the alleged violation of human rights, first of all the rights of Crimean Tatars in Crimea and Sevastopol, smack of demagoguery," Lukashevich said. "At the same time the European Union, creating obstacles to issuing visas to Crimean residents, is deliberately carrying out the policy for actual infringement of the peninsula residents’ right to freedom of movement."
"We believe that this, in essence, is an unjustified collective punishment of the peninsula’s population - about the destiny and rights of which the EU so much "cares," the diplomat said. "At the same time, the European Union prefers not to remember that the specified discriminatory measures equally affect all residents of Crimea and Sevastopol, including people of Tatar, Greek, German, Italian and other nationalities."
"During contacts with representatives of the European Union and its member states we regularly draw their attention to this conspicuous violation of the Crimean residents’ right to the freedom of movement caused by the hypocritical policy of the partners. However, unfortunately, we so far have not seen any progress in their attitude," Lukashevich said.