Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz has criticized German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for being against limiting visas for Russian tourists in retaliation for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“This is an attempt, in a sense, to cover up or divide that there are good Russians and bad tsars,” he has explained, adding that the German side has not read “all those reports about the huge support for Vladimir Putin’s policy among ordinary Russians,” Polish news agency PAP has picked up.
During a summit of Nordic heads of state in Oslo, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz assured that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “Putin’s war” and “not the Russian people’s war”, so he was reluctant to close the doors to “people fleeing the Russian regime”.
However, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin told Monday’s summit that she did not think it was right for Russian citizens to be allowed to “go sightseeing” in the EU while the Russian military “kills people in Ukraine.”
The European Commission in early August avoided commenting on a possible veto on tourist visas for Russian citizens, leaving it up to EU member states to limit visas for tourists arriving on European territory by land.
This measure would serve to prevent the entry of Russians into the EU through Finland, Estonia or Latvia, since flights from Russia are restricted in the framework of the sanctions for the Russian invasion of Ukraine ordered last February by President Vladimir Putin.
After the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelenski, demanded this measure in an interview for the newspaper ‘The Washington Post’ and states such as Finland and Estonia proposed to restrict visas, the spokeswoman of the European Commission, Arianna Podesta, has avoided commenting on whether this step could be included in future rounds of sanctions.