Estonia to bar most Russians from the country in coming weeks, foreign minister says

1 September, 12:53 PM
Urmas Reinsalu (Photo:REUTERS/Ints Kalnins)

Urmas Reinsalu (Photo:REUTERS/Ints Kalnins)

Estonia will soon take measures to ban most Russian citizens from entering the country, Reuters reported on Aug. 31.

“It takes some time, but I think the timing is also critical, looking at these vast numbers of Russian citizens entering (Estonia),” Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said.

Reinsalu added that he would welcome a solution that prevents Russians from crossing into Estonia on Schengen visas, regardless which EU country issued them.

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Estonia introduced limits on Russian citizens applying for residency permits and student visas on July 28.

The Baltics, along with the Czech Republic and Poland, have suspended the issuance of new tourist visas to Russian citizens.

As air travel between Russia and the EU ceased six months ago, Russian tourists have been pouring into Europe via the Baltics. According to Estonian PM Kaja Kallas, 30% of all Russians traveling to the EU enter the bloc through Estonia.

So far, Brussels remains reluctant to institute a blanket Russian travel ban, opting instead to suspend simplified visa application agreement with Moscow.

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