Within the EU countries, a discussion is raging about a visa freeze for all Russian citizens. Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko has criticized German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) for his refusal to stop awarding contracts. “Russian civilians are fighting in Ukraine, torturing and killing peaceful Ukrainians and children, destroying our towns and villages,” the 51-year-old wrote on social networks after a phone call with his Berlin colleague Franziska Giffey (SPD).
The majority of Russian citizens would support “Putin’s policies and his bloody imperial ambitions,” Klitschko said when justifying his call for a visa freeze.
Klitschko and Giffey had called demonstratively because the mayor of Berlin had fallen for a telephone joke in June. At the time, the 44-year-old spoke to Russian comedians near the Kremlin instead of the Ukrainian ex-world boxing champion.
Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24 and came within miles of the Ukrainian capital Kiev. At the end of March, Russian troops unexpectedly withdrew from northern Ukraine. Since then they have concentrated on the east and south of the country.
Selenskyj to EU: no more visas for Russians
As punishment for supporting Russia’s war of aggression, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently demanded that the EU stop issuing visas to Russians. Scholz spoke out against this on Thursday.
Finland, Estonia and Czech Republic support Kiev’s demand
The two heads of government in Finland and Estonia, on the other hand, propose to stop issuing all tourist visas to Russians. The Czech Republic also supports the proposal. Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said: “It is not right that Russians can live normal lives, travel in Europe and be tourists while Russia is waging an aggressive, brutal war of aggression in Europe.”
And Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of Estonia, adds: “Russia’s neighbors bear the burden of the countries issuing visas to Russians.” Because Russian tourists bypass the no-fly zone via Finland and Estonia. The legal situation is difficult. About 100,000 Finnish visas are valid for five years.