16:13 22 Aug 2022

EU foreign policy chief opposes calls to ban all russians from entering EU

The head of the European Union's diplomacy, Josep Borrell, rejects the proposal to ban all russians from entering the EU as its foreign ministers prepare to discuss a stop to tourist visas next week

He said this at a press conference in Spain, Bloomberg reports.

"To forbid the entrance to all the russians is not a good idea. We have to be more selective," he said.

Borrell added that the EU shouldn't open its doors to oligarchs but that "there are many russians that want to flee the country because they don't want to live in this situation."

EU foreign policy chief said some countries had already taken specific measures on the visa bans that other EU countries are not going to support, noting it would have been better to discuss it first at the EU level. 


The EU is set to discuss banning travel visas for russian citizens at the bloc's foreign ministers meeting in Prague later this month, where countries such as Estonia, Latvia, and Finland are to urge an EU-wide ban in the wake of russia's invasion of Ukraine.

As Rubryka reported, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has warned against a broad visa ban. 

"This is putin's war. And that's why I have a hard time with this idea," the Chancellor stressed.

Besides Germany, Portugal, Cyprus, and Greece have announced they oppose the visa ban on russian travelers.

On the other hand, Belgium, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and Finland support such a ban.

Estonia has announced that it would stop entry for russian citizens with Schengen visas, closing off one of the few land borders after the bloc halted flights from russia. 

Estonia will present the proposal to the European Commission before the foreign ministers' meeting.

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said his government, which currently holds the EU presidency, would push for a suspension of the EU's visa agreements with russia and Belarus. 

"That seems to be achievable. We want to start debates about limiting visa issuance to russians and people from Belarus. Member states' opinions are split in this respect, and there is a lot of work ahead of us," he said.

Read Rubryka's timeline of war: all current news on Ukraine's defense against russia's aggression.

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