Estonia preparing EU proposal to stop issuing Schengen visas to Russians

Estonia preparing EU proposal to stop issuing Schengen visas to Russians Credit: H_Ko/Shutterstock.com

Estonia’s Schengen visas proposal to the EU comes after Russia lifted Covid border crossing restrictions on July 15, leading to an increase of Russians crossing Estonia’s border.

Speaking on the EU Schengen visas for Russians Estonia’s Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets stated:

“We share Schengen space, meaning that people holding other countries’ visas can come to Estonia and often use it as a transit country.”

“We could consider cutting Russian citizens who enter Estonia with another country’s Schengen visa off from the possibility of working. We can take those kinds of measures,” the minister stated.

Läänemets does not plan to entirely close Estonia’s borders to Russia:

“The problem is that some people, including Estonian citizens, need to be able to cross the border. A certain level of commerce is also still taking place.”

“Sanctions for Russia should be universal and consistent in Europe. If the Baltics and Poland remain the only ones, the effect (of sanctions) will be that much smaller,” Läänemets said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu spoke on Estonia’s “Ringvaade” TV show on Monday, July 25, stating that the ministry is working on proposals for the EU to stop issuing visas to Russian citizens.

“The idea is for the European Union to stop issuing visas to Russian citizens under normal circumstances, as is the case in Estonia.” “There are humanitarian exceptions, for example, for Alexey Navalny’s allies, that are processed separately,” Reinsalu stated.

“But it is curious how masses of Russian tourists can cross the western border – through Finland, Latvia, Lithuania – and visit the Louvre during the summer school break, while children are being murdered in Ukraine. A morally helpless situation,” he added.

The ministry expects the proposals to be finished in the coming weeks.

“I have mentioned this issue to the foreign ministers of Finland and Latvia, and we will definitely be consulting governments in the region to try and find support for the initiative,” Reinsalu stated

“We need all countries on board. We will raise the issue again, and I am hopeful in terms of support. The situation is not what it was in spring,” as reported by ERR.

The news follows reports of Russia allegedly opening filtration camps for Ukrainians at the Russian-Estonian border crossing points as on Monday, May, 30.


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Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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