These EU & Schengen Countries Support an Entry Ban on Russian Tourists So Far
Even though Ukraine keeps on pressuring the European Union to impose visa restrictions on citizens of Russia, only some of them have supported such an idea, while others continue to resist.
So far, the group of the EU/Schengen Area countries that support an entry ban on Russian tourist includes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Poland, and Czechia, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Of all the countries mentioned above, Estonia has imposed some of the strictest restrictions on Russians. Estonia has already stopped issuing Schengen visas to citizens of Russia. In addition, the same has banned Russians holding an Estonian Schengen visa from entering the country.
Commenting on the decision that entered into force on August 18, the Foreign Minister of Estonia, Urmas Reinslau, indicated that this decision was only right, as by imposing restrictions, Estonia wanted to take away from Russians the opportunity to continue living normally.
Apart from stopping issuing visas and banning entry for Russians, the Estonian authorities are also planning to no longer permit entry for Russians who hold Schengen visas issued by other countries. Reinslau said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior are working on proposals on how the Estonian border could be closed for citizens of Russia with Schengen visas.
Similarly, Latvia has also stopped issuing visas to Russians. The Latvian authorities decided to suspend the cross-border deal with Russia on August 1.
The Foreign Minister of Latvia, Edgars Rinkevics, called on the other EU member states to take such a decision too and to cancel the visas that have already been issued.
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Lithuania stopped issuing visas to citizens of Russia too. Lithuania was one of the first countries to restrict the issuance of Schengen visas for Russians. Back in February, the Lithuanian authorities said that the country would no longer issue visas for citizens of Russia, including those seeking medical help in Lithuania.
While the countries mentioned above have already stopped issuing visas to Russians, Finland is yet to do so. The Finnish authorities announced earlier this week that they would cut the number of Schengen visas granted to Russians by 90 per cent starting from September.
This means that as soon as the decision enters into force, Finland will accept only around ten per cent of the visa applications made by citizens of Russia. Nonetheless, it has been emphasised that the Schengen visas that have already been issued will not be cancelled.
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The other countries – Norway, Denmark, and Poland – have also expressed their support for the idea of banning Russian tourists.
Norway said earlier in June that the country would start applying tightened visa rules for Russians. The authorities pointed out that Russians applying for a visa will find it harder to enter Norway as tourist visa applications will be generally rejected.
Denmark also wants to limit the number of tourist visas granted to Russians. However, the Danish Minister for Integration, Kore Dyubvad, emphasised that a joint-European solution is required for this issue.
Similar to Denmark, Poland also supports the proposal to introduce an EU-wide entry ban on Russian tourists. The country secretary of Poland said in July that Poland is fully committed to far-reaching sanctions, suggesting that the country supports this type of action.
The EU-wide entry ban for tourists from Russia was supported by the Czech Republic’s authorities too.
Nonetheless, the number of those against such an idea is not small. The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, refused to support such a move. He said that innocent Russian citizens should not suffer because of Putin’s actions.