Travel news | EU rebuffs Russia's travel ban

Zelensky's demand, which has since been echoed by Estonia and Finland, is being contested by Brussels officials.



With one official telling the Financial Times on Tuesday that the EU did not want a total ban, it appears that the EU is hesitant to restrict its borders to all Russian passengers.


This came after Estonian and Finnish MPs made similar requests, repeating those made by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Moscow criticized the proposal as "irrational" and warned that enacting it would reveal the EU's real colors forever.


"Stop granting Russians tourist visas. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas tweeted on Tuesday that traveling to Europe is a privilege rather than a fundamental human right. As a result of the suspension of air travel, Estonia, Latvia, and Finland, who are neighbors of Russia, "bear the weight" of processing all Schengen visa applications. "It's time to stop visiting Russia now,"


The largest nation in the continent, is Russia, with a population of over 100 million people and borders with both Poland and Lithuania.


Russians being able to "have a normal life, travel in Europe, and be tourists" is "not right," Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said, accusing Moscow of waging "an aggressive, harsh campaign of aggression." Marin continued that she would "personally prefer to see European answers to this matter as well," even though Finland might enact its travel ban.


Following Zelensky's comments to the Washington Post on Monday that the current sanctions against Russia were "weak" and that the only way to influence Russian President Vladimir Putin was a travel ban on all Russians, regardless of what they thought about the conflict, and a complete energy embargo, statements from Kallas and Marin, both outspoken supporters of the government in Kyiv, were made.


According to a story in the Financial Times on Tuesday, Brussels is not currently in favor of the concept.


"You don't want to outright prohibit all Russians from visiting the EU. How are we even going to engage? One unnamed EU official made the statement. "Russians who oppose the war must also be able to go."


The EU's partial suspension of the visa deal with Russia "does not affect ordinary Russian people for the time being," according to Anita Hipper, the European Commission's spokesman for immigration matters, in a statement to the Financial Times.


There will always be situations in which long-stay visas should be provided, such as "humanitarian cases, for family members, journalists, or dissidents," according to Hipper, even though member states have "considerable latitude to decrease or stop awarding long-stay visas and residency permits."


The Kremlin in Moscow has called those advocating a travel ban "delirious" and the proposal itself "irrational."


Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, told reporters that these people were "coming to their senses" eventually and that they were "stooping to sentiments that we heard 80 years ago from certain countries in the heart of Europe."


According to Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, the EU cannot prohibit entrance based on nationality because of its commitments and standards.


This will destroy the concepts of democracy, liberalism, freedom, and, as they say, "zero tolerance" for things like racism and nationalism. In a TV interview with "Russia 24" on Tuesday, Zakharova stated that if any EU countries did this, they would immediately admit their nationalism and no amount of makeup could disguise it.


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