MOSCOW, July 20. /TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned on Monday of possible difficulties following the European Union’s launch of a Visa Information System (VIS), computerised procedures and communications infrastructure linking a central system to national databases.
The ministry said it had directed a number of questions to the EU’s delegation to Russia about functioning of the new procedures, due for introduction from September 14. The database contains information on applications by third country nationals needing a visa to enter the Schengen area.
More details are being sought about setting up visa application centres in distant Russian regions, booking of appointments for visiting these centres and higher processing fees.
"The deputy head of the EU’s delegation to Russia has been invited to discuss this and other issues," the ministry said. VIS was launched to increase visa security, incorporating measures to prevent illegal migration and terrorist or other criminal activity, it added.
EU authorities say the new system will speed the visa application process using biometrics, primarily fingerprints and a digital facial image. It is expected to ensure quick and effective data exchange on short-stay visas among Schengen countries.