The EU has offered to open a discussion with Moscow about facilitating travel for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by lifting strict requirements for self-isolation and testing for travel through Russia to the EU and vice versa.
Markus Eder, Brussels’ ambassador to Russia, said EU officials have decided to approach the Russian Health Ministry with a proposal for mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccine passports in an effort to facilitate travel, TheSchengen.com reports.
Eder also said that both parties “need to find a solution to our COVID-19 certificates,” while the case for travelers to vaccinate those moving between Russia and the European Union is not currently being considered.
“The European Union has a digital certificate that allows citizens to travel freely within the union, as well as a law providing for the ability to declare these certificates equivalent to other similar certificates,” Eder said.
However, the French Foreign Minister, Clement Bonn, does not fully support the proposal, insisting that some vaccines should be stopped and only those that demonstrate a certain efficacy should be approved.
Currently, only four of them are recognized in France and Europe, as well as in a number of other countries. For a number of other vaccines, in particular, the Russian and Chinese vaccines, France says to its partners – beware, say no to these vaccines,” Bonn noted.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has received criticism for the slow pace of evaluation of Sputnik V, the primary COVID-19 vaccine in Russia. However, Greece, Hungary and Slovenia have already started giving the vaccine to their citizens.
The European Union launched the COVID-19 vaccination passport on July 1, a digital document that will allow EU citizens to travel freely and safely within the EU, without quarantine and testing restrictions.
People who are eligible for a European COVID-19 vaccination passport are those who have received one or two shots of vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Janssen). People who have recently recovered from coronavirus and who have a negative test result for the virus are also eligible to receive the document.
As TheSchengen.com recently reported, the European Commission has officially recognized the EU’s COVID-19 European Digital Vaccination Passport, making it the first non-EU and EEA country through which travelers are allowed to travel across the EU, without introducing any testing requirements or undergo a stone test.
In order for this law to be in effect, the commission had to make a separate decision to enable Swiss citizens to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination passport, apart from the Free Movement of Persons Agreement, which is the main law allowing for free. Mobility between EU citizens and Switzerland.