Entry ban for Russian tourists comes into force in 4 EU countries

i24NEWS

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Russian tourists have their passport checked on July 28, 2022 at the Nuijamaa border crossing, Finland.
Alessandro RAMPAZZO / AFPRussian tourists have their passport checked on July 28, 2022 at the Nuijamaa border crossing, Finland.

Baltic states and Poland called free movement of Russians across the EU 'unacceptable' amid the Ukraine war

An entry ban came into force on Monday, which Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland introduced for Russian nationals with tourist Schengen visas.

The four European countries announced their plans to ban Russian tourists from entering in early September after the EU rejected their proposal to impose a full ban on entry for Russian citizens but suspended an agreement that simplified the procedure of them getting visas instead. The member countries, however, can impose their own entry rules. 

The Baltic states and Poland called the free movement of Russians across the EU “unacceptable,” while Ukrainians are being "tortured and killed" by the Russian army with “three-quarters of Russian citizens" supporting Moscow’s invasion of the neighboring country. 

They also said that people entering from Russia could pose a threat to their national security. 

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The restrictions will not apply to family members of citizens of the Baltic states and Poland as well as to those who have residence permits in these countries. Other exceptions will be made for diplomats and visitors, who travel in transit to the Russian Kaliningrad region, bordering the EU countries.

Responding to concerns that the ban will affect people seeking refuge, the four states also said they would allow entry for “humanitarian reasons.” 

The Schengen zone covers 26 European countries without border controls between them and the restrictions only apply to the external borders of these EU countries, making it possible for Russian tourists to travel to the four countries from other Shengen states.

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