Russian tourists pose ‘security threat’ – EU member
Russian tourists entering the EU are a security risk amid the Ukraine conflict, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has said.
Estonia banned Russian tourists earlier this month and, along with several other EU states, has been pushing for bloc-wide restrictions on Russian travelers as part of sanctions on Moscow for its military operation in Ukraine.
“We are bearing the burden really. The problem is that we are not able to check all the tourists that come. And we see that they pose a security threat,” Kallas told Sky News on Wednesday.
She argued that ordinary Russians “are also responsible for their country’s deeds,” and that “a visa ban could have an effect so that war would end.”
“Only 10% of Russian citizens actually travel abroad. They are from Moscow and St. Petersburg, so these people also have influence on the Kremlin’s decisions,” the prime minister said, adding that Russians affected by the ban “would put pressure on the Kremlin.”
Some EU countries, such as Germany and Hungary, meanwhile, oppose a full visa ban. Josep Borrell, the bloc’s top diplomat, said on Monday that the doors should not be shut to Russians who do not support the Kremlin’s position.