Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov: EU vaccination passport "violates the rules of democracy".
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov was asked at a press conference with the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan about the mandatory vaccination planned in the EU and what it would mean for Russians. He found very clear words for it.
EU Commission President von der Leyen has just announced that there will be an EU-wide database for vaccinated people and an EU vaccination passport, and she plans to announce the details before the end of March.
This means that there will be de facto compulsory vaccination in the EU, at least for all those who want to travel across countries within the EU. One can discuss for a long time whether it is a "real" vaccination obligation if one can decide whether one wants to be vaccinated against Corona, but in case of a refusal of the vaccination, one can travel only with restrictions or not at all. In Russia, at least, this is regarded as compulsory vaccination and is rejected. Only yesterday I reported on the current status of the question of compulsory vaccination in the EU, you can find the details here.
Russians are very fond of traveling and therefore this is a question that also interests many Russians: What would this (whether official or indirect) mandatory vaccination in the EU mean for Russian tourists? The topic is also already widely discussed in my circle of friends in Russia. Therefore, a Russian journalist asked Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov what Russia's position is on the planned "covid passports", i.e. the introduction of vaccination passports in the EU, and what this could mean for Russian tourists if the borders are reopened one day.
Lavrov's response in full:
"This is - as I understand it - so far still an idea that is being worked out. And there is by no means a unanimous opinion on it - as your European colleagues write. There are very serious concerns in the Brussels bureaucracy. Many express the following thought: the idea violates the rules of democracy because there is a decision of the EU states that vaccinations are voluntary. If a so-called covid passport is introduced, it goes against the principle of voluntariness.
It means people will be forced by force, at least if they want to travel. And without cross-border travel, few in the EU can probably imagine their lives.
So let's see how this ends. I hope the decision will take into account the opinion of the EU members and the decision will not be forced on them. The question of the voluntariness of vaccinations is a very serious one.
We have informed our EU colleagues through our channels that we expect a solution that does not discriminate against Russian citizens. Something more concrete can be said only when there is at least preliminary information about the idea."