Poland & Baltic Nations to Restrict Entry of Russians
Several European countries that border Russia have said they will limit people from Russia from entering Europe’s visa-free zone by land because of a substantial and growing influx of Russian citizens.
“We believe that this is becoming a serious threat to our public security and to the overall shared Schengen area,” Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said Thursday, as reported by AP. “There are people coming with the aim of undermining the security of our countries.”
Poland, along with the three Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, have agreed on a common regional approach to introduce national temporary measures for Russian citizens holding EU visas. Such measures should take effect in each of the four countries by Sept. 19.
Estonia and Latvia border the Russian mainland, while Lithuania and Poland share borders with Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea.
Those traveling from Belarus will also be affected by the new measures. The country shares a border with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia as well as Russia and Ukraine.
The Polish government delivered the harshest message about the new measures, saying the goal was to “prevent direct threats to the public order and security.”
The EU already tightened visa restrictions on Russian officials and businesspeople in May, but Poland and the Baltic countries have called for a broader ban on tourists. Germany and France are also pushing for more restrictions on Russians.