PPA: Estonia has denied entry to Russian dual citizen Schengen visa-holders

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Passport control at Tallinn Airport.
Passport control at Tallinn Airport. Source: ERR

Holders of dual citizenship, where one of those two citizenships is of the Russian Federation, are being denied entry to Estonia on a Schengen Area visa, ERR reports, following an expected surge in numbers of people wishing to leave Russia following this weeks mobilization of reservists.

Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) spokesperson Britta Sepp told ERR on Saturday that: "It is true that Russian-Israeli citizens have also been prevented from entering the country at the border checkpoint, primarily because people have been providing false information, and there has been reason to believe that their statements about the actual purpose of the trip are not as stated."

"Border guards thoroughly examine each case individually, taking into account all the circumstances," Sepp added, in response to an ERR query on whether reports, first appearing on social media, were true, to the effect that individuals with joint Russian-Israeli citizenship would be denied entry into Estonia.

Interior Ministry: Estonia does not prevent Israeli citizens from crossing the border

The interior ministry said later on Saturday that it does not prevent Israeli citizens from crossing the Estonian border, in either direction.

Veiko Kommusaar, the ministry's Undersecretary for Internal Security, told ERR that: "People who hold dual Russian-Israeli citizenship can still move across the border, provided their movement is legal and purposeful."

"Our border checks comply with all international regulations and legislation in their activities. Border guards check the reasons those arriving at the border are doing so, and how, and for what purpose, citizens or dual citizens of other states wish to enter this country."

Officials check each individual thoroughly and on a case-by-case basis, Kommusaar added, while anyone providing false information or false statements regarding the true purpose of the trip across the border into Estonia will be denied entry, has happened in the situation noted above.

"That is what has happened. These decisions are taken regardless of nationality or citizenship. I can confirm that all decisions are made with the safety and security of Estonia. and the entire Schengen area, uppermost in mind," Kommusaar went on.

Estonia, along with Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, closed their borders to Russian citizens holding Schengen tourist visas, in a ruling which came into effect Monday, September 19.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin Wednesday morning announced a part-mobilization of military reservists, which is thought to have led to an uptick in people leaving the country rather than be called up.

The move is seen as an escalation of the current phase of the Ukraine conflict, following the large-scale invasion from February 24.

Russia's defense minister estimated the call-up would affect around 300,000 people.

Russia generally does not permit dual citizenship; Israell permits dual citizenship in some cases, such as for diaspora Jews who have a right to return.

This article was updated to include comment from Veiko Kommussaar at the Ministry of the Interior.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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