Following a meeting on Thursday the Estonian government decided that they will now restrict the issuance of visas to Russian citizens and their arrival on Schengen visas issued by Estonia.
Estonia has said that they are seeing a “steep” rise in the number of Russian’s travelling through the country.
Estonia warned that all Russian citizens cannot be allowed to continue “living a normal international life” as a result of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of a friendly sovereign state.
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The Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said at a government press conference on Thursday morning, that “We are observing a steep growth in the number of Russian citizens traveling through Estonia or arriving in Estonia from Russia.”
Reinsalu went on to warn all Russian citizens that they will no longer be allowed to work and all student visas will be stopped.
He added, “The ability of Russian citizens to visit Estonia en masse or travel to Europe via Estonia contravenes the spirit of our sanctions.”
The Estonian Foreign Minister warned, that Russia should have no “possibility to keep living a normal international life at the level of its citizens,” and they now will stop issuing work, student and business visas to ALL Russian citizens.
As an exception, Estonian residence permits will be extended for one year for the students who are finalising their education at Estonian higher educational establishments, Reinsalu added.
Russian citizens with long-term residence permits in Estonia, visiting immediate family members in Estonia, Russian diplomats stationed in Estonia and their families, employees of international cargo and passenger transport companies, and citizens traveling consistent with EU laws (including people arriving in Estonia for humanitarian reasons) will still be admitted to Estonia.
These new restrictions on Russian citizens will take effect a week from now, on August 18.
This week the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the world must close their borders to all Russians by imposing sanctions on travel.
The Kremlin has shrugged off this call for a travel ban on all Russians on Tuesday and the spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the proposal was “irrational.”
Peskov added, that Europe will ultimately have to decide if it wanted to pay the bills for Zelenskyy’s “whims.”
Peskov added, “The irrationality of his thinking in this case is off the scale.
“This can only be seen extremely negatively.
“Any attempt to isolate Russia or Russians is a process that has no prospects.”