Estonia and Finland want to ban Russian tourism in the EU

It is time to put an end to Russian tourism. » Kaja Kallas, Estonian Prime Minister, made an impression by calling on the European Union on Tuesday 9 August to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens. “Visiting Europe is a privilege, not a right”I wrote on Twitter. Like other Baltic countries, Poland or the Czech Republic, his country no longer grants, with a few exceptions, visas to Russian citizens since July 28. Caja Classes want the entire European Union to follow suit.

Since the easing of travel restrictions in July due to Covid-19, Russian citizens have been coming in droves to Europe, especially to the Baltic states. Since no flight between Russia and the European Union has been possible since February 28, Russians wishing to travel to the West enter the Schengen area by crossing the land borders that separate them in particular from Finland, Estonia and Latvia.

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Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin also expressed support for the idea of ​​a European ban on granting tourist visas to Russians. In Estonia, Marika Lintam, Director-General of European Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, contacted the scientistconsiders it so An ethical issue. Russia started an unjustified war. So, why is it so easy for its citizens to come shopping in Europe, to buy brands that they can no longer find at home? The daily life of Russian citizens should not continue as if nothing had happened. We want the Russians to know that this war has consequences.” Says. “The most important sanctions are closing the borders” As for the Russians, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently insisted in an interview with the American daily Washington Post.

do not generalize

Estonia sent a clear political message… It was not always enthusiastically received in Brussels. European visa law does not provide for a general and automatic prohibition of the issuance of such a document. It is based on the analysis of requests on an individual basis. Naturally, Member States can decide to do otherwise, within the framework of the sanctions policy. Before banning tourist visas, the Council of the European Union, made up of the 27 governments, could suspend or cancel the visa facilitation agreement between Russia and the European Union. This system allows Russian citizens to obtain European visas more quickly and at reduced prices. Partially suspended since February 25 for certain categories of people associated with Russian power: parliamentarians, members of national or regional governments, representatives of professional organizations.

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