The Baltic countries and Poland will significantly limit the entry of Russian tourists

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The Baltic countries and Poland will significantly limit the entry of Russian tourists

The Baltic countries and Poland will significantly limit the entry of Russian tourists

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From September 19, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland will introduce entry restrictions for Russian citizens with Schengen tourist visas, regardless of the country in which the visas were issued. Members of the Estonian government announced this at a press conference.


"Estonia has a political will, which we implement in the legal field. On the night of September 18-19, the ban on entering Estonia through the Schengen external border for citizens of the Russian Federation will come into effect, regardless of which country issued the Schengen visa", - stressed Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Urmas Reinsalu.


"Together with Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, we want to significantly limit the entry of Russian citizens whose purpose is tourism. Today, together with the prime ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, we will make a statement on this matter. We have already assessed it as necessary", - said the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaia Kallas.


According to Kallas, security concerns are one of the main reasons for imposing entry restrictions, as Estonia cannot control everyone who arrives. But the restrictions should include exceptions for dissidents, holders of residence permits and those visiting relatives in Estonia.


Kallas also noted that due to the suspension of air traffic from the Russian Federation, the countries bordering Russia were under a very heavy burden. The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Reinsalu explained that the restriction for Russians to enter Estonia and the Baltic countries will contribute to reducing the entry of Russian citizens to the territory of other countries of the European Union.


Latvia, in turn, already today, September 9, introduced restrictions on the entry of citizens of the Russian Federation, holders of short-term Schengen visas. As a reason, the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs cites the threat to Latvia's security from Russia, which may lead to a worsening of the internal security situation.


At the same time, the entry of politically persecuted persons was not prohibited. The country also allowed entry to holders of a residence permit of the European Union or a long-term visa of a member state of the Schengen Agreement.


In addition, persons who are family members (spouses, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren) of citizens of Latvia and EU countries, persons who carry out international cargo or passenger transportation, seafarers, persons who have received a visa for humanitarian reasons, for example, to visit a seriously ill relative or attend a funeral.


Ukrainian deputies call on all EU countries to stop issuing visas to citizens of the Russian Federation, and also offer to recognize visas already received by Russians as invalid.