Tourist countries of the EU, for which Russia in the past was one of the main tourist markets, as expected, opposed the initiative of the “Russophobic wing” to ban the issuance of visas to all citizens of Russia without exception. First of all, this was announced by Greece and Cyprus. With some reservations, this measure was also supported by Portugal. In addition, another German politician also did not support the idea of completely closing visas for Russian tourists – however, he suggested that the “privilege” of visiting the EU, or rather, a ban on it, can be used for Russians “disloyal” to European values.
“It would be a wrong decision”, – in particular, the permanent secretary (analogous to the deputy minister) of the Cypriot Foreign Ministry, Cornelios Corneliou, estimated. He recalled that the problems of Cyprus with the “annexed territory” from Turkey are much older – however, so far no one has expressed indignation, and moreover, Cyprus successfully issues visas to Turkish citizens, why not issue them to Russian tourists as well. The Greek government also stated that their country is not considering changing the status of Russian visas.
Portugal also opposed – but with reservations. The authorities oppose the ban on the entry of all Russians without exception. “Sanctions should not be directed against Russian citizens. The goal of the sanctions regime should be the Russian “war machine”, and not the entire Russian people,” declared the representative of the Portuguese Foreign Ministry.
Omid Nuripur, co-chairman of the German Soyuz-90/Green party, voiced even more prominent wishes from the EU, literally voicing dreams of separating the “lambs” from the “goats” and “Russians who support Vladimir Putin” from “good Russians. “More efforts need to be made to ensure that those who actively support [Russian President Vladimir] Putin can no longer travel to the EU,” he said. However, a general ban on the issuance of Schengen visas to Russians is inappropriate from his point of view. It should be noted that German Chancellor Olaf Scholzu (SPD) also does not really understand how technically not to issue visas to Russians and at the same time not break the law.
Recall that the visa issue of the EU Foreign Ministers is planned to be discussed at an unscheduled meeting on 30 -August 31. We note that it will be held under the chairmanship of representatives of the Russophobic wing – namely, the Czech Republic, which has spoken out in favor of the ban. True, the problem is essentially in the internal laws of the Schengen Agreement – which do not provide for the possibility of a complete ban on the issuance of visas on a national basis. As a result, they will either have to revise their own laws, which can become a long and problematic procedure, or leave the “lowering” of the iron curtain for our tourists a private affair of each country.
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