Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Estonia called the entry of Russians into the countries of the Schengen zone a threat to public security. They demanded that the European Commission take measures to limit the entry of Russian tourists. And if not, they are considering doing it at the national level. The Financial Times writes about it.
As the newspaper writes, the joint statement of the five countries was presented at the meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of the European Union countries, which is held in the Czech Republic. According to the newspaper, since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, about 700,000 Russians have entered EU countries bordering Russia. It is claimed that most of them are tourists who were on their way to Western European countries for vacation.
After the invasion, the European Union stopped air connections with Russia, and entry into EU countries became possible only through transit countries or land border crossings. Earlier, the Baltic states called for a complete suspension of visas for Russians, at least tourist visas. Western European members of the union are opposed.
- Last year, Russian citizens applied for 536,000 Schengen visas, refusals were received in 3 percent of cases, AFP reported. The EU does not provide statistics for 2022.
- In mid-August, Denmark’s foreign minister said that the country will study the possibility of reducing the issuance of tourist visas to Russians if the EU does not do it on its own. In the first half of 2022, Copenhagen issued 141 tourist visas to Russians. This is almost three times more than for the whole of 2021, when 49 visas were issued.