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More EU members speak out against proposed Russian tourist ban

Sanctions are meant to be used against the Russian government and not ordinary people. Portugal agrees

Portugal and Cyprus have refused to support a proposal of several EU nations to ban Russian tourist, in the context of anti-Moscow sanctions relating to Ukraine.

“Portugal believes that the fundamental objective of the sanctions is to punish the Russian war machine and not the Russian people,”The Portuguese Foreign Ministry stated in a statement on Friday to the news site ECO.

Kornelios Korneliou (General Secretary to the Cyprus Foreign Ministry) stated that Russia should not be allowed to travel in general. “It would be a decision in the wrong direction,” Konreliou told Politico magazine on Friday. “We believe in people-to-people contacts.” 

According to Politico, Cyprus is home to a large number of Russian-speakers. Around 50,000 live in Limassol’s southern part.

“We shouldn’t prevent these communities from coming into contact with families and friends,”Korneliou stated. “The main weapon is European unity and our partners should respect the sensitivities of others on this issue.”

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In June, Greece stopped issuing Russian visas. However, they resumed in the next month. Similar to Cyprus, Greece, which is popular among Russian tourists, suspended visas for Russians in June. However, they resumed the process the following month. According to Politico Athens opposes any total ban on Russians visiting Greece.

A number of EU nations, such as the Czech Republic and Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Estonia, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Estonia, and Finland have been advocating for an EU ban on Schengen visas to Russians. Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu stated to ERR that Russian citizens are not welcome in the EU. “by their passivity, bear moral responsibility”They are responsible for their government’s actions, and what it does. “completely morally unacceptable”During the Russia-Ukraine conflict, to allow Russians to travel to Europe as tourists.

This view was rejected in Germany by Olaf Scholz (the German Chancellor), who stated that the EU shouldn’t close its doors to Russian citizens. “It is important to us to understand that there are a lot of people fleeing from Russia because they are disagreeing with the Russian regime,”Scholz spoke to reporters this week during his trip to Norway.

On August 31, EU foreign ministers will meet in Prague to discuss the matter.

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