Stop for tourist visas: Selenskyj wants EU travel ban for Russians

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy wants to impose a travel ban on Russians in the EU.

Stop for tourist visas: Selenskyj wants EU travel ban for Russians

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy wants to impose a travel ban on Russians in the EU. Germany and Brussels have so far rejected the proposal. But Russia's neighboring countries are also demanding a visa freeze and see it as an effective sanctions instrument.

In the dispute over travel opportunities for Russians in the EU, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has reiterated his call for a travel ban. "It must be ensured that Russian murderers and supporters of state terror do not use Schengen visas," he said. In an interview with the Washington Post, he had previously called for an international travel ban for all Russians to prevent Moscow from annexing occupied territories. The Kremlin was outraged.

The demand for travel restrictions for Russians comes mainly from the direct neighboring countries. Estonia and Latvia in the Baltic States have already tightened entry rules, and Finland is also considering doing so. Germany and the EU Commission in Brussels reject a fundamental freeze on tourist visas for Russians. Even if travel is made more difficult by the cut flight and rail connections, many Russians traveled to the EU in the summer despite the war.

"Europe has banned air travel from Russia to Europe. This means that the only way Russians can get to Europe is through only three countries - Finland, Estonia and Latvia," said Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. "So it's not really fair that all other Schengen countries issue these visas, but the three of us actually carry the burden." Kallas referred to violent reactions in Moscow to the visa discussion. This shows that an entry ban can be an effective sanctions instrument.

Zelenskyy said that after everything the Russian occupation has done in Ukraine, there can only be one attitude towards Russia and that is to consider it a terrorist state. "The attitude towards the citizens of Russia should also be determined from this point of view." For Russians who really need protection, there are tried and tested legal mechanisms such as asylum. But that has nothing to do with holiday or business trips to the EU.

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