Lithuania’s FM desires visa ban for anti-Putin Russians

Change occurs ?from inside? and thus the opposition ought to keep within the nation, Gabrielius Landsbergis mentioned

A blanket Schengen visa ban for Russian residents would permit extra individuals who disapprove of the federal government to be stored within the nation, Lithuanian International Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis mentioned on Saturday. These individuals would thus grow to be a driving power of political change, the FM believes.

You are reading: Lithuania’s FM desires visa ban for anti-Putin Russians

In an interview with Deutsche Welle, the minister talked about what he sees as an unfair state of affairs when Ukrainians are fleeing their nation or preventing for his or her properties, whereas Russians can nonetheless take pleasure in touring to Europe.

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When requested if he want to see a Schengen visa ban utilized to these Russians who’re towards the army motion in Ukraine and who could be dealing with persecution in their very own nation, Landsbergis mentioned that he believes that “change comes from inside.” Subsequently, he argued, the situation of ‘two Russias,’ one among which might be in emigration, is just not very important. He burdened that even when solely 5-10% individuals in Russia oppose the nation’s actions in Ukraine, that may nonetheless imply tens of millions of individuals. The actual change – the institution of “democratic Russia” – will likely be prompted by these individuals, and thus it’s higher in the event that they keep of their residence nation, the minister mentioned.

Landsbergis argued that the EU may impose a complete ban on visas for Russian residents, besides for many who apply on humanitarian grounds. He mentioned that his nation, by working with numerous non-government organizations, has already discovered a great way to ascertain when humanitarian grounds are legitimate.

The three Baltic international locations – Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia – have been identified for his or her harsh insurance policies in the direction of Russia and have been among the many first nations to impose visa restrictions on Russian residents in response to Moscow’s army operation in Ukraine. They’re now on the forefront of the decision for an EU-wide visa ban.

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Germany and lots of EU officers, nevertheless, have been skeptical of the thought. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz cited the “very far-reaching sanctions” imposed on Russia and mentioned {that a} visa ban would weaken their effectiveness “if it was directed towards everybody, together with harmless individuals.”

A spokeswoman for the European Fee mentioned {that a} complete ban would merely be illegal and that every software have to be thought-about individually.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, commenting in July on the Schengen visa ban proposals, mentioned that Moscow hopes that the EU would present widespread sense. Nonetheless, he did not rule out “actions of an emotional nature.”


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