News headlines | EU country requests stricter Russian visa restrictions

Helsinki claims that Russians denied admission into any EU country should have their visas completely revoked.



Finland has urged Brussels to further limit Russians' access to the EU. Helsinki said on Monday that any EU country rejecting access to a Russian citizen should also have the tools to stop that individual from entering the Union through another EU member.


The Finnish Foreign Ministry wrote to the EU Commission recommending that the EU issue a "recommendation" enabling its members to "either invalidate or revoke" the visa of any Russian national they refuse admission to at their border. In such a situation, it also stated that a Schengen entry ban for a Russian citizen may be an option.


The ministry stated in a statement that the action is intended to "prevent the same person from trying to enter the Schengen region through another land border or air route," and that the Schengen Information System (SIS) will enable other EU countries to refuse such people entry as well.


At a gathering of EU foreign ministers on Sunday, Finland also proposed adding tourist visa restrictions to its list of anti-Russian penalties, according to the statement. Finland believes it's critical to get toward a consensus EU position on Russian visa restrictions, the statement continued.


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has already questioned the EU's anti-Russian visa policy. According to the Russian RIA news agency, Guterres stated on Sunday that such a decision by the union "may not be a good idea."


A visa-easing accord with Russia was terminated earlier in September by the EU. Additionally, some of the member states ceased providing tourist and business visas, while Poland, the three Baltic states, and some other members declared they would refuse admission to Russian nationals having valid Schengen visas from other countries.


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