The European Union flag flying outside the offices of the European Commission in Brussels.
A visa ban for all Russians to sanction Moscow for the war in Ukraine will be discussed at the end of August by the European Union (EU), said Friday the head of Czech diplomacy, Jan Lipavsky, whose country chairs the Council. of the EU.
The measure, demanded by the Ukrainian authorities, divides the EU. European sanctions must be adopted unanimously by the Twenty-Seven.
A total ban on Russian visas by all EU Member States could be another very effective sanction against Russia, Mr. Lipavsky alleged. The Minister will sound out his counterparts at an informal meeting at the end of August in Prague.
In this period of Russian aggression, which the Kremlin continues to intensify, there can be no talk of tourism as usual for Russian citizens, he argued.
The Czech minister must however convince the head of European diplomacy, the Spaniard Josep Borrell, who chairs the Councils of Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministers. Proposals for sanctions are one of its prerogatives.
We cannot currently deny entry to people with a visa from another Schengen country. We are looking for options, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas recently stressed, supporting a blanket ban.
Finland is also advocating for a European decision, as the country's legislation does not allow a total ban on visas based on nationality. An important transit country for Russians, it wants to reduce tourist visas, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said in early August.
However, the Commission does not does not hide its reservations about a measure that would penalize all Russian nationals, and it insists on the need to protect dissidents, journalists and families.
Member States have x27; a significant margin for the issuance of visas for short stays and they examine applications on a case-by-case basis on their merits, recalled one of its spokespersons.
Russians overwhelmingly support the war, applaud missile strikes on Ukrainian cities and murders of Ukrainians. Let Russian tourists enjoy Russia, said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in a message on Twitter.
The Czech Republic has stopped issuing visas to Russians as early as February 25, the day after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The EU adopted six sets of sanctions against Moscow, including stopping its purchases of coal and oil.
It has also registered more than a thousand Russians, including President Vladimir Putin and many oligarchs , on its blacklist of people banned from entering and restricting short-stay visa issuance for regime-linked officials since late February.
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