Poland, Baltic countries ban entry for most Russians with EU visas

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Poland and the Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – were scheduled to begin enforcing a ban on access to their countries for most Russians with EU visas on 19 September, RFE/RL reports.

“Russian citizens with a Schengen visa for tourism, business, sports, or cultural purposes are now blocked from all four of those countries’ territory. Switzerland also said it was suspending simplified visa procedures for Russians beginning the same day,” RFE/RL says.

This month’s statement by the Baltic countries and Poland cited increasing security and other concerns at a “substantial and growing influx” of Russians amid the fallout from Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The 27 EU member states discussed a near-complete ban on Russians in August, with France and Germany seeing such a move as counterproductive and Nordic and Baltic being the ban’s leading proponents.

On August 31 the EU suspended its visa-facilitation agreement with Russia as a “necessary first step,” according to RFE/RL.

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