Poland and Baltic states block Russians from entering EU

Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have restricted travel for Russians using Schengen visas through their territories

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: tvp.info

Poland and the Baltic states on Monday have restricted entry for Russian Schengen visa holders. Entry will be allowed purely on a discretionary basis related to compassionate and humanitarian grounds and will not cover tourism. 

Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński confirmed the move in a tweet, posting that he signed an order tightening the restrictions on entry into Poland for Russian citizens.

“Only severe and broad sanctions can effectively hit the Putin regime,” wrote Mariusz Kamiński.

Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz justified the move on the grounds that a majority of Russians still support Putin’s war in Ukraine and should not be rewarded for their stance.

The Latvian foreign ministry said that unrestricted travel for a nation of aggressors attacking Ukraine is immoral and a security threat for the countries receiving the visitors. The foreign minister of Latvia, Edgars Rinkeviczs, added that Russians should not try to cross the border, as “no one is waiting for them.” Instead, they should end the war in Ukraine.  

Foreign Minister of Estonia Urmas Reinsalu pointed to the fact that visas can be used by Russian agents. He also revealed that his country has been attempting to persuade Finland to join the agreement to close the borders to Russians. Finland has so far refused, arguing that a selective ban on Russians was contrary to both their domestic law and international law. 

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda called the introduced restrictions effective and just. He said that Europe had already gone forward with many important decisions to stop Russian aggression but that there was a need to go further. He added that the war must become “an unbearable burden for the aggressor.”

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