“There can be no talk of tourism, as usual, for Russian citizens,” Jan Lipavsky, Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic presiding in the EU Council, made another Russophobic statement last Friday. The official got a chance to speed up the introduction of a ban on entry into the EU for Russian tourists: on August 31, representatives of the EU countries will come together to discuss the refusal to issue Schengen visas to our compatriots. This was reported by Interfax with reference to the statement of the Czech politician.
“A complete ban on visas for Russians by all EU member states could be another very effective sanction against Russia,” Lipavsky was quoted as saying by BFMTV. It was clarified that the official of the “unfriendly” country intends to study the opinion of his European colleagues on this issue during the informal meeting of the EU Council for Foreign Affairs “Himnich” on August 31 in Prague. According to Lipavsky, during the events in Ukraine “there can be no talk of tourism, as in normal times, for Russian citizens.”
However, some EU states do not agree with this measure, the publication recalled, and for its adoption, a unanimous decision of all 27 EU member states is required. According to the TV channel, the Czech minister has not yet convinced the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, who heads the councils of EU foreign and defense ministers, of the need for such a measure. The imposition of sanctions is one of his privileges.
Earlier it was reported that Finland and Estonia heated up the situation by calling for restrictions on the entry of Russians into the EU up to the introduction of a ban on the issuance of tourist visas to them. The European Commission (EC) refrained from directly commenting on these calls. “Responsibility for extradition or refusal rests with the Member States, which decide on a case-by-case basis. And only they can restrict the issuance of visas to Russian citizens,” EC representative Anita Hipper said at a briefing in Brussels last Thursday.
According to her, EU countries, in accordance with the recommendations of the EC, must specifically consider each request for a visa and may refuse a visa application if they decide that there is a threat to public health, internal security or international relations.
However, answering the question about the possibility of stopping the issuance of tourist visas to Russians in the EU countries, The representative of the EC pointed out that in any case it is important that member countries fulfill their international obligations. “There will always be categories of persons to whom a visa will be issued. We mean humanitarian cases, family members, journalists and dissidents,” Hipper explained.
Earlier, Turprom wrote that “Estonia exempted one category of Russians from the visa ban.”
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