EU foreign affairs chief opposes visa ban for Russians

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said he does not support the idea of ​​imposing a visa ban on Russian citizens.

Such a remark was made ahead of a meeting EU foreign ministers are due to hold next week in Prague, reports.

Borrell said it was not a good idea to bar all Russians from entering the EU, suggesting EU countries should apply a more selective approach.

Furthermore, he noted that more than 300,000 Russians have fled their country since the start of the war in Ukraine and said that the EU should not close its doors to these Russians.

While Borrell suggested the EU not restrict the movement of innocent citizens, he said oligarchs and war officials should continue to be subject to restrictive measures.

“To the oligarchs, the door should not be opened, of course. We must block entry to these Russians. But there are a lot of Russians who want to flee the country because they don’t want to live in this situation,” Borrel said.

In the same way, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also said imposing an entry ban on Russians was not a good idea. The Chancellor said earlier this month that Russians should not suffer Putin’s actions. Instead of imposing an entry ban on innocent citizens, the Chancellor suggested that EU countries focus on targeting Putin and others responsible for the war.

Despite these calls, some EU countries have already suspended visas for Russians. The current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, the Czech Republic, has suspended visas for Russian citizens and, at the same time, called on other countries to do so.

Estonia also stopped issuing visas to Russians. Moreover, the country has also banned entry to Russian citizens holding a visa issued by the Estonian authorities.

The Estonian Foreign Ministry said earlier this month that Schengen visa applications from Russian citizens would be rejected. Nevertheless, the authorities pointed out that certain exemptions apply.

Latvia also stopped issuing Schengen visas to Russians. The country suspended its cross-border deal with Russia on August 1 and imposed stricter entry restrictions.

Besides these two countries, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Poland also support an entry ban for Russians.

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