Estonia proposes to ban the issuance of Schengen visas to Russian citizens

Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: EU should not issue visas to Russian citizens under normal conditions. Humanitarian cases must be considered separately.

Estonia will try at the level of the European Union to suspend the issuance of Schengen visas to Russians, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said, speaking on ETV on Monday:

“The bottom line is, we would say that the EU does not issue visas to Russian citizens under normal conditions. There are humanitarian cases, for example, associates of Alexei Navalny, they [визы для них] would be considered separately. But it is really curious that Russian citizens are now traveling en masse across the western border of Russia – through Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, to visit the Louvre in the summer, while children are being killed in Ukraine. It’s definitely morally wrong.”

The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is preparing a corresponding proposal to the European Union, writes the news portal ERR.ee. According to the head of the Foreign Ministry, who took up this post on July 18, 2022, Estonia also needs to assess whether it is necessary to revoke already issued visas on certain grounds. In March, when Estonia announced a temporary suspension of issuing tourist visas to Russians, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs assured rus.err.ee that Russian citizens who already had Estonian-issued Schengen visas in their hands would still be able to enter the Republic of Estonia.

Urmas Reinsalu recalls that the issue of visas for Russian citizens was already discussed in the EU in March, but in Russia at that time there were restrictions caused by the coronavirus, and travel was not as massive as it is now. The Estonian Foreign Minister assured that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wants to prepare proposals for the EU in the coming weeks:

“I have already voiced this issue to the foreign ministers of Finland and Latvia, and we will of course consult with the governments of our region in order to find wider support for this initiative. We need all countries to be in favor. We are going to go with this issue in a new circle, I hope for this support. Now the situation is different from what it was in the spring.”



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