Tallinn bars entry to Russian tourists with Estonia-issued Schengen visas

18 August, 04:13 PM
The restrictions affected tens of thousands of Russians (Photo:Eva Sepping/flickr.com)

The restrictions affected tens of thousands of Russians (Photo:Eva Sepping/flickr.com)

Starting Aug. 18, Russians with Schengen visas issued by Estonia are no longer allowed to enter the country, reported the Estonian ERR public broadcaster.

Minister of Internal Affairs of Estonia, Lauri Läänemets, stated that this decision affects those Russians whose purpose of travel is tourism, business, sports, or culture.

According to him, about 53,000 such visas have been issued to Russian citizens.

"Citizens of Russia cannot have the natural freedom to enjoy the opportunities provided by the same European values and freedoms offered by the European Union: be it recreation, education, or entrepreneurial activity," Läänemets stated.

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At the same time, Russians who are visiting a close relative with citizenship or a long-term residence permit; diplomats and members of their families; and employees engaged in international transportation of goods and passengers will still be able to apply for an Estonian visa.

"I know that entrepreneurs had questions about the top specialists working in Estonia in light of the sanctions that come into force today,” added the official.

“In this regard, I would like to reiterate that the changes do not apply to citizens of Russia who have previously been issued and who have a valid short-term registration for work in Estonia and an Estonian visa. They can work here until the relevant permits expire. Today, almost 1,659 citizens of the Russian Federation have such valid residence permits issued for work.”

At the same time, Estonia will still admit Russians with tourist visas issued by other Schengen countries.

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