Lithuania closes its borders to Russian tourists

The same procedure must start operating in Latvia, Estonia, and Poland.

According to the criteria approved by the Government, Lithuanian border guards will allow Russian diplomats, dissidents, employees of transport companies, family members of EU citizens, as well as Russians with residence permits or long-term national visas from the Schengen zone countries into the country.

Also, they will continue to be able to travel to and from the Kaliningrad region by transit trains through Lithuania.

The ban on the entry of Russian citizens is provided for in the resolution adopted by the Seimas regarding the declaration of a state of emergency on the border between Russia and Belarus. It will be valid at least until December 16 inclusive.

According to Lithuanian Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė, the decision not to admit Russian citizens was “dictated by the interests of national security”.

“Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine continues and even three-quarters of Russian citizens support the war in Ukraine, and such persons who seek to harm our security and the security of EU neighboring states are also among those arriving in Lithuania. These threats pose a risk to the interests of national security, which forms the basis for stricter individual screening of incoming Russian citizens,” said the minister during the Government meeting last week.

Officials of the State Border Guard Service, refusing to allow a Russian citizen who does not meet the criteria to enter the territory of Lithuania, will have the right to cancel or cancel his visa.

According to A. Bilotaitė, it is expected that this will act as a deterrent so that Russian citizens who do not meet the criteria set by the Government do not try to enter the country.

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