The Baltic states and Poland will start turning away Russian vacationers as of midnight Monday, a transfer to tighten restrictions in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania together with Poland reached an settlement earlier this month to restrict issuing Schengen Zone visas as a consequence of “a serious threat” to safety posed by an inflow of Russians.

The Schengen zone comprises 26 mostly EU countries that permit unrestricted motion inside their borders.

The journey ban means Russian residents will likely be unable to enter 4 out of the 5 European Union international locations that share a land border with Russia. The fifth, Finland, has determined to stay open to visa holders however has reduced the number of consular appointments obtainable for these seeking to journey to Europe.

Exempted from the brand new ban will likely be Russian dissidents, journalists, truck drivers, refugees in addition to residents of EU international locations and people visiting members of the family in Europe.

The rule will even not apply to humanitarian instances, members of the family, holders of EU residency permits, diplomatic missions and different “legitimate exceptions.”

In a joint assertion printed on Sept. 8, the prime ministers of the 4 international locations acknowledged that “travel to the European Union is a privilege, not a human right.”

“Among the Russian citizens entering the EU/Schengen area, there are persons coming with the aim of undermining the security of our countries, insofar as three fourths of Russian citizens support Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine,” the assertion stated.

“Latvia, Poland, Lithuania and Estonia have agreed that measures are adopted on the common grounds of protecting the public policy and internal security, as well as ensuring the overall safety of our shared Schengen area,” the assertion famous.

Commenting earlier on the EU determination to droop a visa settlement with Moscow making it more durable for Russian residents to acquire Schengen visas, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated it was “ridiculous” and would make life extra sophisticated for Europeans as nicely.

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