Lithuanian minister: Border states' visa ban on Russian citizens possible
Should no common European Union line on visa bans to Russian Federation citizens be agreed upon, a regional agreement consisting of member states which border Russia may see those countries, including Estonia, instigate a ban, Lithuania's foreign minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, says.
Landsbergis stressed that a pan-EU ban would still be the most viable, sustainable and legally watertight approach, Lithuania's public broadcaster LRT reports (link in Lithuanian), but if this were to be found wanting, a ban put in place by the three Baltic States, Poland and potentially Finland, could be forthcoming instead, he said.
Lithuania was one of the first EU and Schengen Area member states to restrict the issuing of Schengen Visas to Russian Federation citizens, following the invasion of Ukraine starting February 24, while Finland recently announced a plan to do the same.
Estonia has officially supported such a ban, as has the Czech Republic, which holds the current presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Estonia's own tourist visa ban on Russian citizens whose Schengen Area visa was issued by Estonia itself came into effect last week.
The entry ban does not apply to Schengen Area visas issued by any other member state, however.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte