The Czech Republic has announced it will turn away all Russian nationals, even those who possess valid EU visas issued in other countries, from Oct. 25 as the country follows the lead of the Baltic states and Poland, which have tightened entry restrictions for Russian tourists.
The move was announced on Wednesday by Czechia’s Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský who said:
“While Russian rockets fall on a children’s playground and on people in Ukraine, up to 200 Russian Federation citizens travel to the Czech Republic via international airports every day.”
He explained that the ban will apply for all Russian nationals holding visas for tourism, sports, and culture.
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There had been calls last month by some EU member states for the bloc to suspend its visa agreement with Russia, effectively banning Russian tourists from obtaining a simplified Schengen visa to allow them to travel freely throughout Europe. While Poland, Czechia, Finland, and the Baltic states lobbied for the move, other nations including Hungary, Germany, France, and Austria opposed the action.
“Visiting Europe is a privilege, not a human right,” said Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas at the time.