The half-measures adopted during the informal meeting of the EU foreign ministers (details here), which took place last Wednesday, did not suit Estonia, which is popular among Russian tourists. In this regard, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said that the complete exclusion of most Russian citizens from entering his country is only a matter of a few weeks.
According to Schengenvisainfo, it is extremely important for the Estonian authorities to work out and implement a Russophobic scheme, to stop the flow of Russians to the former Soviet republic. In addition, the minister stressed that Estonia will work to find a solution in the region through cooperation with its regional partners.
Moreover, Reinlau also noted that he would support decisions that would allow Estonia, in full compliance with the Schengen visa code, to deny entry to all Russians, regardless of the country in which their visas were issued. Recall that despite the cessation of issuing visas to Russians and the annulment of existing documents from August 18, the Estonian authorities could not influence the ability to cross the Estonian border using the Schengen issued by other countries.
According to the official, the decision to refuse citizens of the Russian Federation to enter this Baltic country was the only correct one, since Estonia wanted to deprive Russian tourists of the opportunity to continue to live normally and travel freely. Nevertheless, the authorities made concessions and left the opportunity to extend the visa for another year to Russian students studying in Estonia and some other categories of travelers.
A number of bloc countries are expected to enforce stricter national rules for Russians applying for Schengen visas now that EU foreign ministers have reached some agreement on the matter. Recall that during a two-day meeting in Prague at the end of August, EU foreign ministers agreed to suspend the visa facilitation agreement with Russia. Read the details of what is now really waiting for Russian tourists in connection with the abolition of the previous visa regime with the EU, read this link.
The decision to suspend such an agreement was confirmed by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell. He noted that this step was necessary, since the number of Russians arriving in the EU countries for the purpose of tourism has increased significantly. “This will significantly reduce the number of new visas issued by EU member states. Travel will become more difficult and visa processing will take longer,” Borrell said in a statement.
The visa fee will also increase. Citizens of Russia will now have to pay 80 euros instead of 35 euros (4'800 rubles instead of 2'100 rubles at the current exchange rate). Moreover, Russians will also be subject to stricter rules when applying for a visa. They will have to present additional documents, as well as wait longer for an appointment and a response to their applications.
Earlier, Turprom wrote that “Finland announced new visa rules for Russian tourists starting September 1.”
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