Visa ban for Russian citizens?
In view of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, a number of EU members are calling for restrictions on visas for Russians. Proposals to this effect have been presented in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland. A tricky issue.
Enough of pleasure trips
Entering the EU should be made more difficult for Russian citizens, Eesti Päevaleht urges:
“There are no direct restrictions for citizens of the aggressor state. Yes, travelling is less convenient than it used to be. But if you have a Schengen visa in your pocket, you are free to travel to Estonia to buy branded underwear, for example - which is now in short supply in Russia. Something is very wrong here and needs to be corrected. More precisely: the Russians' little pleasure trips must stop. It is not acceptable that for them the war is nothing more than a minor inconvenience when it comes to exchanging money. The possibility to visit Europe is not a right but a privilege that should not be available to the aggressor.”
Between opposing fronts
Russian economic historian Dmitri Travin complains on Facebook that Europe is effectively shutting him out:
“Flights to Europe are virtually non-existent. My bank cards are blocked. It's difficult to get a visa and soon they may stop issuing them entirely. I have been cancelled. ... It's clear that the European bureaucracy must react to my country's actions - and it is reacting in the way that is easiest for voters to understand. The Russian intelligentsia has once again been steamrolled by history. And our bureaucracy is gleefully adopting a collision course simply because it needs to. We are sandwiched between two powerful political machines that are officially fighting each other but in reality are crushing us between their combined force from both sides.”