Saturday, October 22, 2022

Czechs Ban Russian Tourists

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Czech Republic was the first EU country to stop issuing visas to Russian citizens except for humanitarian cases.  Czechland is now stepping things up and as of 25 October, that even with a valid Schengen visa, Russian citizens will not be allowed in the country for tourism, sport or culture.  It's not clear if Russian citizens, with a valid visa, will be granted entry for business purposes.

Citizens of Russian that have a valid Czech residency visa will still be granted entry.

Vladimir Putin's announcement of partial mobilisation has caused many people to try to leave Russia before they are drafted to fight in Ukraine.  People fighting the Russian government or human rights activists are among the exceptional cases that qualify for a humanitarian visa.  The Czech Foreign Minister, Jan Lipavský, has said that Russians who fear mobilisation don't fulfil the conditions for a humanitarian visa in Czechland.  

The European Commission says that it is up to each EU country to decide if they will accept Russian citizens in to their country.  Finland, Poland, and the Baltic countries
- Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, like Czechland, don't grant asylum to people fleeing Russian military mobilisation.  However, Germany will allow Russians fleeing military conscription. 

Here's a short video that I found on YouTube about Estonia not issuing visas to Russians.


Here's a Voice of America interview with the Czech Foreign Minister on the subject.

©Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Я за Україну. Я за Україною. Слава Україні  Stojím za Ukrajinou!  I stand with Ukraine. 🇺🇦

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