The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Urmas Reinsalu, said that his country will submit a proposal to the member states of the European Union to ban the issuance of tourist visas to Russians because of the war against Ukraine.
Reinsalu was told about this joint press conference with the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, based on the results of the negotiations in Kyiv.
“Literally in the near future, within the next week, we will submit this proposal for a national visa ban. Estonia has already stopped it. We are not issuing tourist visas to Russians starting this spring, and we are now calling on other European countries that have not yet done so to do so.”– said Reynsalu.
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The head of the Estonian Foreign Ministry emphasized that the legal responsibility for the Russian invasion lies with the authorities of the aggressor country and those who commit war crimes on the territory of Ukraine. In addition, he stated that people, including children, are dying in Ukraine from Russian bombs, so it is morally unacceptable for Russians to travel to the EU for the purpose of tourism.
“But there is also the responsibility of Russian citizens who, due to their passivity, allow genocide to take place in the middle of Europe in the 21st century… Children die from Russian bombs, and we allow Russians to come to various countries for tourist purposes. I think this is morally unacceptable.”– said the minister.
It will be recalled that Reinsalu said in July that Estonia will propose to the EU at the end of August to ban the issuance of Schengen visas to Russians.
However, the EU explained why they cannot introduce a complete ban on the entry of Russians.
We would also like to remind you that since July 1, Ukraine has introduced a visa regime for citizens of Russia. Visas can be obtained in eight Russian cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don, Samara), as well as in diplomatic missions of Ukraine in third countries.
At the same time, Russia announced that it would not introduce a visa regime for Ukrainians in response.