“We are, of course, following this situation very carefully, as it is relevant for our citizens. And such another portion of unfriendly actions towards our citizens, if it happens, will require our counter-reaction,” the Interfax news agency quotes the representative of the Kremlin as saying.
“Some (EU) countries are talking about limiting the issuance of visas, that is, they will be issued less, the process will take longer, etc. In other words, people will be inconvenienced. There is nothing good here, their people will also face inconvenience when they want to come (to Russia). This is another spiral of this crazy Russophobic attitude towards our country,” said D. Peskov.
A meeting of foreign ministers of European Union countries is taking place in Prague these days, where a proposal to no longer issue tourist visas to Russian citizens is being considered. The Czech Republic, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark support this initiative, while France, Germany, Greece and Cyprus oppose the ban on issuing visas to Russians.
Eastern European countries are threatening to take national measures
The countries of the European Union (EU) Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania bordering Russia have threatened to take national measures to limit the flow of Russian citizens entering their territories, if the bloc does not make a joint decision on this matter.
The corresponding threat was expressed by these parties in a joint statement, which was seen by The Financial Times newspaper. In it, the countries demanded that the European Commission (EC) propose joint “visa measures” to help “restrict the flow of Russian citizens to the EU and the Schengen area”.
“Until appropriate EU-wide measures are in place, we will consider the possibility of adopting temporary national measures to address public security concerns related to increased flows of Russian citizens at our borders,” the statement said.
It is estimated that to these five countries since the Russian invasion Ukraine on February 24, about 700,000 people have already arrived. Russian citizens. Many of them are tourists going to other countries in Western Europe through the territories of these states.
“In our view, this could turn into a serious threat to public security,” added the statement from Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which emphasized the need to continue to apply exemptions to dissidents, including for humanitarian purposes.
Travel restrictions for Russian citizens will be discussed at the meeting of EU foreign ministers on Wednesday. The countries of the bloc are very divided on this issue.
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