The statements of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Lithuania became the first official document confirming the sanctions against Russian tourists: “Taking into account the threat to the national security of countries, Lithuania, together with Latvia, Estonia and Poland decided to tighten control over the entry of Russian citizens.
The authorities of three other countries have also released statements confirming that they have stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens, as well as denying entry to those who already have valid visas.
This decision caused a mixed reaction in the European community: among EU officials and Member States, there was both criticism and support.
However, immediately following the Baltics and Poland, feeling the pressure of the influx of Russian tourists, Finland also moved to close its land borders with Russia.
On September 29, Finland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that entry restrictions for Russians on the country's eastern border would come into effect from the following day. “With the adoption of the government’s policy decision of September 29, 2022, Finland will seriously limit the travel of Russians to Finland for tourism purposes. Entry restrictions come into effect on September 30, 2022, at 00:00, and are valid until further notice, — the ministry said in a statement.
The authorities announced that transit through the country would also be completely stopped, and the acceptance of visa applications would be strictly limited.
From October 25, the Czech Republic will also introduce a complete ban on the entry of Russian citizens holding valid Schengen visas issued as the Czech Republic itself. Republic and other Schengen countries.
Several countries in the EU and the Schengen area, although they have not imposed entry bans for Russians, have already suspended all types of Schengen visas, issuing only visas for humanitarian purposes or long-term visas for students, company employees and family reunification.
< p> Belgium suspended the issuance of tourist visas to Russian citizens in early July of this year. Currently, the country only issues visas for students, researchers, one-time work visas, and visas for young people living and working with a host family.
Before Belgium, in May, Denmark also stopped accepting applications for both short-term and long-term visas to Russia. Currently, the country issues visas only for official visits.
The website of the Danish Embassy in Moscow explains: “Until further notice, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark suspends the process of accepting applications in the Russian Federation for short-term visas and residence permits to Denmark, except for official visits.
On September 6, the country also suspended the Visa Facilitation Agreement with Russia.
At the same time, the Netherlands froze the issuance of short-stay visas to Russian citizens on April 27 after employees of their embassy were declared undesirable in Russia. However, Amsterdam is still considering applications for humanitarian visas and temporary residence permits.
Similarly, Slovakia also does not accept applications for tourist visas from Russians. They are now allowed only for certain categories of citizens of the Russian Federation and in cases of emergency.
The German authorities still issue Schengen visas to Russian tourists, but now they are subject to quite severe restrictions. Germany not only canceled the visa facilitation agreement with Russia, but also introduced a new visa application requirement — proof of having an account with an EU bank.
The move was announced by outsourcing provider VisaMetric, which warned Russian applicants that only bank statements from a verified bank operating in the EU would be accepted to apply for a Schengen visa to Germany. “Only up-to-date statements issued in the name of the applicant from the audited bank operating in the EU Member States may be considered. The document must contain information about the current amount of funds in the account. Applicant must provide relevant bank statements for the last three months, — says Germany VisaMetric.
On the other hand, the island of Malta only accepts applications from Russian citizens who are family members of citizens of the European Union and the European Economic Area.
According to Slovenian law, the country issues visas to Russian citizens only if they present a valid air ticket for a direct flight to Slovenia. Train or bus tickets are not accepted as proof of travel. This requirement is confusing to many, since Slovenia, like the rest of the EU, has closed its skies to flights from Russia.