WorldThe European Union is considering banning the issuance of...

The European Union is considering banning the issuance of entry visas to Russians

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The European Union will consider banning entry visas for Russians at the end of August as part of its sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lebavski, whose country currently holds the council presidency, confirmed on Friday. . European Union.

The measure requested by the Ukrainian authorities is dividing the EU. For sanctions to be applied, they must have the consensus of the 27 member states.

“A total ban on Russian visas by all EU member states could be another very effective sanction against Russia,” Lebavski said. In this regard, Lebavski will consult with his European colleagues at an informal meeting to be held in Prague at the end of August.

“In this period of Russian aggression, which the Kremlin is constantly strengthening, it is impossible for Russian citizens to do tourism as usual,” he added.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaia Kalas, who supports a blanket ban, recently argued: “At the moment, we cannot deny entry to visa holders from other Schengen countries. We are looking at options.”

Finland is also asking for a decision at the European level because its laws do not allow for a total ban on citizenship-based visas. Finland, a major transit country for Russians, plans to reduce the number of tourist visas, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Havisto said in early August.

But the European Commission is not hiding its reservations about the measure, which would punish all Russian citizens, and insists on protecting Russian dissidents, journalists and families.

“Member states have a large margin to issue short-stay visas and consider applications on a case-by-case basis,” a spokesperson for the Commission said.

“The Russians massively support the war and applaud the rocket attacks on Ukrainian cities and the murder of Ukrainians. So Russian tourists enjoy Russia,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

The Czech Republic has stopped issuing visas to Russians since February 25, the day the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.

The European Union has imposed six packages of sanctions on Moscow, including a suspension of Russian coal and oil purchases.

The European Union has placed more than 1,000 Russians, including President Vladimir Putin and many wealthy Russians, on a blacklist of people denied entry and has restricted short-term visas to officials linked to the Russian regime since late February.

Source: EuroNews

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