Estonia to ban entry to Russian citizens with Estonian-issued visas

11 August, 05:09 PM
Urmas Reinsalu (Photo:EU2017EE Estonian Presidency/www.flickr.com)

Urmas Reinsalu (Photo:EU2017EE Estonian Presidency/www.flickr.com)

Estonia will ban Russians with Estonian-issued Schengen visas fromentering the country, the ERR online media outlet reported on Aug. 11, with reference to the government decision.

It noted the rule does not affect permanent residents and will enter into effect on Aug. 18.

Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu said exceptions to the rule include Russian embassy employees and their family members working in Estonia, employees directly involved in the transportation of goods and passengers, those who have the right to freedom of movement under EU law, people visiting close relatives, and people entering for humanitarian reasons.

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Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas on Aug. 9 called on the EU to immediately stop issuing entry visas to Russian citizens, saying that visiting Europe is a “privilege, not a human right.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier urged the EU to do the same, saying that “only then they (the Russians) would understand.”

Ukraine suspended visa-free travel for Russian citizens on July 1.

The Czech Republic banned the issue visas to Russians on Feb. 25, the day after Russia invaded Ukraine. The Czech Republic is also presiding over the Council of the European Union in the second half of the year.

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