Hungary weighs in on proposed Russian visa ban
Hungary does not support the calls by some EU member states to restrict visas for Russian citizens over the Ukraine conflict, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said.
Several European states, including Estonia and the Czech Republic, are pushing for an EU-wide ban on the issuing of visas to Russians.
“We have also discussed the proposal to tighten the practice of issuing European visas to Russian citizens. We are sympathetic here with the position of the German chancellor, and don’t plan on introducing any tightening or restrictions,” Szijjarto said on Tuesday after a phone call with his Estonian counterpart, Urmas Reinsalu.
Germany is among several EU countries that have spoken out against a blanket visa ban. Chancellor Olaf Scholz argued last week that Europe should not deny entry to Russians who disagree with their country’s government.
Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, made a similar point on Monday at a conference in Spain. “Are we going to close the door to these Russians? I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
Reinsalu insisted that the EU must close the borders to all Russian citizens, with the exception of humanitarian cases. “Russian citizens are not welcome in Europe. Their country is committing a genocidal war against innocent people,” Reinsalu told the Associated Press last week.
The matter will be discussed during an EU meeting in Prague, Czech Republic next week.