15:43 GMT06 August 2020
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    The European Union's decision to grant no visas to Crimeans violates the freedom of movement principle, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Europe’s refusal to grant residents of Crimea visas is nothing but “collective punishment,” and breaches Crimeans’ freedom of movement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.

    The European Union refused to recognize the legitimacy of Crimea's March 2014 reunification with Russia and closed the consulates and visa centers of EU members on the peninsula, accepting documents for visas only in the offices located on the territory of Ukraine.

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    • Lifted, the measures are counterproductive and have a negative impact both on Russia and the EU.
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    “We believe that this is, in fact, unjustified collective punishment of the population of the peninsula, whose fate the European Union claims to be concerned about,” ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

    While EU officials claim that residents of Crimea, especially Crimean Tatars, are subject to human rights abuses, “the European Union, by creating obstacles for Crimeans to receive visas, are deliberately perusing a policy of de facto restricting the peninsula’s residents’ freedom of movement,” according to the spokesman.

    Although the referendum on Crimea's reunification with Russia was supported by nearly 96 percent of the populace, the West accused Moscow of annexing the territory, and has since introduced several rounds of economic sanctions targeting Russia.

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    EU Bans Investment, Imposes New Trade and Services Sanctions on Crimea
    Tags:
    punishment, Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexander Lukashevich, Crimea, Russia
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