September 19, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

The Baltic states and Poland will start rejecting Russian tourists from midnight Monday, an attempt to tighten restrictions in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, together with Poland, reached an agreement earlier this month to limit the issuance of visas to the Schengen zone due to “a serious threat” to security from an influx of Russians.

The Schengen zone consists of 26 mainly EU countries that allow unrestricted movement within their borders.

The travel ban means Russian citizens will not be able to enter four of the five European Union countries that share a land border with Russia. The fifth, Finland, has decided to remain open to visa holders, but has reduced the number of consular appointments available for people wishing to travel to Europe.

Exempt from the new ban are Russian dissidents, journalists, truck drivers, refugees, as well as residents of EU countries and those visiting relatives in Europe.

The rule also does not apply to humanitarian affairs, family members, EU residence permit holders, diplomatic missions and other “legitimate exceptions”.

In a joint statement published on September 8, the prime ministers of the four countries stated that “travel to the European Union is a privilege, not a human right”.

“Among the Russian citizens entering the EU/Schengen area, there are those who want to undermine the security of our countries, as far as three quarters of Russian citizens support the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine,” the statement said.

“Latvia, Poland, Lithuania and Estonia agree that measures will be taken to protect the common grounds of protecting public policy and internal security, as well as ensuring the overall security of our shared Schengen area,” the statement said.

Commenting on the EU’s decision to suspend a visa deal with Moscow, making it more difficult for Russian citizens to get Schengen visas, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was “ridiculous” and life for Europeans. would also make it more complicated.

Leave a Comment