The VFS Global mentioned on its website that the embassy service provider announced that “Due to circumstances beyond its control, the Belgian embassy in Moscow will no longer issue short-term visas to Russian nationals as of July 1st.”
For those arriving in Belgium before August 31st, only applications for student, business, and family reunion visas will be handled.
Following the expulsion of 12 Belgian ambassadors by Russia in April, Belgium’s consular division has struggled to perform everyday tasks. 21 Russian diplomats from the Russian consulate in Antwerp as well as the Russian embassy in Brussels had already been expelled by Belgium. The action was taken in response to alleged espionage and other actions that put Belgium’s security at risk.
Belgium’s reduced workforce has impacted the consular section’s capacity to handle visas. But the VFS announced, “this temporary measure will be lifted as soon as the Belgian embassy has regained the capacity to process all visa applications.”
Along with this, “The date of the end of this temporary measure will be announced … as soon as it is known.”