Lithuania may ban entry for Belarus citizens with Schengen visas

19 September, 06:34 PM
Lithuania may ban the citizens of Belarus with Schengen visas from entering the country (Photo:Anders Wikström/www.flickr.com)

Lithuania may ban the citizens of Belarus with Schengen visas from entering the country (Photo:Anders Wikström/www.flickr.com)

Lithuania may ban the citizens of Belarus with Schengen visas from entering the country, Lithuanian broadcaster LRT quoted the country’s Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė as saying on Sept. 19 during her visit to Lithuania’s border with Belarus.

“I can see very clearly that the Belarusian regime is also engaged in warfare and is carrying out a hybrid attack with illegal migrants against Lithuania,” she said.

“I think that there are very serious arguments to consider the inclusion of Belarus as well (in the visa ban).”

Bilotaitė also said that only those citizens of Russia who meet the following criteria will be allowed to enter Lithuania:

  • persons coming for humanitarian reasons;
  • fighters against the Kremlin regime;
  • dissidents transiting through Lithuania;
  • persons engaged in international transportation;
  • persons with long-term visas or residence permits.

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Several EU members have previously limited the issuing of tourist visas to Russian citizens, pointing out that “visiting Europe is a privilege, not a right.”

The EU agreed to suspend a treaty that simplified and expedited visa issuance to Russian citizens, starting on Sept. 12. From now on, Russians will find that getting an EU visa will be more expensive, take longer, and require more documents for the application.

While the bloc has refused to issue a blanket ban on visas for Russia – chiefly due to German and French objections – Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania said they will “take national steps” to limit the number of Russian citizens they admit.

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