Wanting more security against Russian interference, Czechia moots biometric ID requirement
In anticipation of Russia’s military invasion of the Ukraine, a requirement has been proposed that Russians traveling in or through the European Union carry biometric ID.
Czechia officials are expected to ask their EU partners to require Russians to use biometric passports if they want to cross into the Schengen region within the EU that operates free of border controls, according to Reuters. Legacy non-biometric passports are still valid for many Russians, in addition to the newer version with chip-embedded biometrics.
The concern is that Russia might be sending misidentified citizens into the EU on military, intelligence or political-agitation missions.
Also known as the Czech Republic, Czechia has issued mandatory biometric residence cards since 2011 containing face and fingerprint scans. People from outside the land-locked nation have not been required to hold similar documents unless they were on their way to applying for long-term or permanent residency.
A biometric travel passport also is mandatory for residents who want to travel outside the country.
Recently, the government has said it wants to switch to mobile driving licenses.