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31 Aug, 2022 11:49

EU fails to agree on visa ban for Russians – Hungary

Many member states refused to bar ordinary Russians from visiting Europe, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said
EU fails to agree on visa ban for Russians – Hungary

There was “no consensus” among EU member states on the proposed full ban for Russian tourists, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Wednesday, as quoted by a journalist from news agency MTI.

Szijjarto’s statement was made as EU foreign ministers have gathered for an informal meeting in Prague to discuss a further response to the Ukraine conflict.

Several EU member states have already stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens, while several Central and Eastern European countries have lobbied for a bloc-wide ban, arguing that it is unfair to allow Russian tourists to visit the EU as usual while the conflict in Ukraine continues.

Some, including Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, have said that tourists from Russia pose a security risk, and suggested that barring them from entering the EU would put additional pressure on the Kremlin.

Others, such as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, have opposed a full visa ban, insisting that the bloc should not close its doors to ordinary Russians, especially if they disagree with the Kremlin’s policies regarding Ukraine.