- The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia indicated three reasons for the agreement between Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland on the entry ban for Russians on short-term Schengen visas
- The first is the concern about “security risks”, the second is about morality. As the third, he pointed out that the effects of the sanctions should “be comprehensive and felt by Russian society”
- From Monday, the number of Russians on the Finnish border will increase significantly – both Estonian and Finnish services predict
- More such texts can be found on the Onet homepage
The Finnish daily “Helsingin Sanomat” writes in its Saturday issue that at the beginning of the next week, the Baltic states and Poland are practically closing their borders to Russian travelers. Then, Finland will also be the only EU neighboring country with Russia through which Russian citizens will be able (despite restrictions on the Finnish side) to enter the Schengen area.
Three reasons for closing borders
Reinsalu pointed out three reasons for the agreement between Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland regarding the entry ban for Russians on short-term Schengen visas.
The first is concerns about a “security risk”. According to the Ukrainian services, the head of the Estonian Foreign Ministry said, in February the number of Russian agents crossing the border increased sharply. Also in Estonia, thousands of Russians crossing the border were registered after the start of the war in Ukraine. The minister also referred to the attempted murder of Sergei and Julia Skripal in 2008 in Great Britain, when Russian agents traveled on tourist visas.
The second reason, he explained, is moral. According to him, it is “shocking situation” for Ukrainian workers and refugees to serve rich Russians in, for example, European resorts.
In addition, it should be understood – he explained – that the attack on Ukraine is not only Putin’s war, but the entire Russian state, and the consequences of the sanctions should “to be comprehensive and felt by Russian society.” This is the third reason – he pointed out – why Estonia does not intend to grant Russians the right of entry.
Finland did not join the agreement
The Estonian minister revealed that the services of his country in recent weeks made efforts for Finland to join the agreement between the Baltic states and Poland to close the borders to the Russians. Finland, however, did not do this, and its Foreign Ministry explained that a general entry ban for citizens of one country (Russia) was contrary to national and international law.
Instead of a radical ban, the Finnish authorities have limited the number of visa applications accepted from Russians. According to the guidelines, consular offices process no more than 100 tourist visa applications per day. The services are to prioritize cases for issuing family, work or student visas.
However, visas for Russians are now issued not only by Finland, but for example France or Spain and other countries – this, in turn, was pointed out by Sven Sakkov, the Estonian ambassador in Helsinki, quoted by “Ilta-Sanomat”.
Said Minister Reinsalu. – It’s hard to expect this in the near future – he admitted.
From Monday, the number of Russians on the Finnish border will increase significantly – provided for by both Estonian and Finnish services.