Latvia proposed to cancel the residence permit and visas for supporting the special operation
President of Latvia Levits proposed to revise residence permits and visas already issued to Russians President Egils Levits proposed to revise residence permits and visas already issued to Russians in the country. Those who support military operations in Ukraine should be canceled, he believes =”image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >< source srcset="https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/resized/1010xH/media/img/3/60/756604660642603.webp 1010w" type="image/webp" media="(max-width: 640px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 640px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)" >
Latvian President Egils Levits proposed to review the residence permits and visas already issued in the republic to Russians: those who support the Russian military operation should have them cancelled. He stated this, speaking at the 23rd annual meeting of politically repressed persons in Ikskile.
“However, in any case, they should not be extended in principle, except for specific proven special circumstances,”— Levits believes.
According to him, a residence permit should no longer be issued to those residents of Latvia who decide to obtain Russian citizenship. They will have to leave the country.
“The trade in residence permits by previous governments, their unjustified generosity in issuing residence permits to Russian citizens, behind which only the vested interests of some political dealers were hidden, created security risks and promoted bilingualism. The time has come to reconsider this unfortunate and dangerous policy. stressed the head of state.
The Latvian leader recalled that the republic has not issued tourist visas since the beginning of hostilities in Ukraine, on February 24. However, other countries continue to issue them. Russian tourists enter Latvia not only on visas issued by the republic, but also by other Schengen countries, such as Finland or Italy. Therefore, Levits is convinced that Latvia, together with Finland, Estonia, the Czech Republic and other like-minded people, should put forward a demand at the European level to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens, which will become additional sanctions pressure on Moscow.
“Of course, I know that a number of European countries, where Russian tourists leave a lot of money, will not be happy with such an offer. The German chancellor also expressed doubts about this. However, I think that it is necessary to talk about it. Out of principle»,— summed up the president.
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Estonia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic also believe that the ban on issuing visas to tourists from Russia should be introduced at the EU level. In mid-August, the Estonian authorities have already announced the closure of the border for the Russians— holders of Schengen visas issued by this country.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in turn, doubts that the EU will completely stop issuing visas to Russian citizens. “We have imposed very far-reaching sanctions that affect the oligarchs. If we direct them [sanctions] against everyone, including against the innocent, this will rather weaken the measures taken, — considers Scholz.
The European Commission announced the impossibility of a visa ban for Russians, since this is not provided for by the EU visa code. In addition, there are always categories of citizens who need to issue visas, & mdash; family members, journalists and dissidents, spoke in the EC.
Nevertheless, the issue of visas began to be discussed at the EU level.
In early August, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also called for blocking Russians from entering Western countries. He stated that the citizens of Russia should “live in their own world until they change their philosophy. At the same time, in March, on the contrary, he called on Russians to leave the country. During a daily video message on August 12, Zelensky said that help should be offered to those who are being persecuted in Russia— give asylum or through the refugee mechanism. “This should not apply to the rest of Russian citizens in Europe, tourism, entertainment and business,” — he added.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, commenting on Estonian Prime Minister Kai Kallas's call for visa restrictions for Russian tourists, called it “nonsense bordering on nationalism.” “Are you surprised that a high official of the country— a member of the EU can carry nonsense on the verge of nationalism? This is fine. She did not become prime minister herself, but inherited the position dynastically, by right of birth, having received everything by pull: a place in the party, a position in the government, — Zakharova said.
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