The EU Delegation to Russia calls on the Russian authorities to investigate cases of alleged trade in European coronavirus vaccination certificates in the so-called darknet.

In response to a request from the publication, the EU Delegation stated that they took reports of possible cases of fraud very seriously and reminded of the ban on falsification of documents, including Russian QR codes and European digital vaccination certificates.

“The European Union will continue to monitor this issue closely and, if necessary, appropriate measures will be taken,” the embassy said.

In the shadow segment of the Russian-language Internet, offers for the sale of European vaccination certificates are published. Potential customers are offered to choose the country of vaccination and drug (AstraZeneca, BioNTech / Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson or Moderna). The average cost of forged certificates is $ 300.

Digital COVID certificates are valid in EU countries from July 1. They contain information about vaccinations or testing. In many EU countries, these certificates are required, for example, for attending public events or restaurants. The Russian analogue of these certificates are QR codes, which in a number of regions are also used to restrict access of unvaccinated people to public places.

At the same time, European COVID-certificates are not yet recognized in Russia, and Russian – in EU countries. Theoretically, such recognition is possible without the approval of Russian vaccines in the EU, and in Russia – foreign, but there is no agreement on this yet. In early October, it was reported that Russia had not yet provided the European Commission with the documents required for the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates.

On Tuesday the Association of Tour Operators of Russia said that foreign tourists are massively refusing tours to Russia because they do not have the Russian certificates required to visit tourist sites.

In the first half of 2021 – before the introduction of certificates – Russia, according to the border service, was visited by about 65 thousand foreign tourists, which is 30 times less than in the same period before the pandemic. Russian tourists are also currently barred from entering most EU countries.