Portugal, following Germany, opposed the ban on the entry of Russians into the EU

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Portugal, following Germany, opposed the ban on the issuance of visas to Russians Some EU countries earlier called for a halt to the issuance of Schengen visas to Russians, the discussion of this issue has already begun at the EU level. The initiative was opposed by the authorities of Germany and Portugal

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Portugal opposes the ban on entry into the EU for Russian tourists and believes that sanctions should not be directed against the Russian people. This was reported in a commentary to the Eco newspaper by the press service of the Portuguese Foreign Ministry.

“Portugal believes that the main purpose of the sanctions regime should be to punish the Russian war machine, not the Russian people. Portugal will participate in the discussion of this issue at the European level, contributing to the development of a common position of the EU member states,— The report said.

After the start of the special operation in Ukraine, several EU countries immediately called for the cessation of issuing Schengen visas to Russian citizens. Among them: Belgium, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Finland. The European Commission considers such a ban impossible, but the discussion of this issue has already begun at the EU level.

At the same time, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned against extending sanctions against Russian “oligarchs” for all citizens of the country. He called such restrictions unjustified. “Many are fleeing Russia because they don't agree with the Russian regime,” — pointed out by the head of Germany.

The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that if the EU or its individual countries ban the issuance of visas to Russians, Moscow will respond to this. In turn, Tatyana Moskalkova, Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia, noted that such a ban by the European Union would grossly violate the fundamental principle of freedom of movement enshrined in universal and regional international legal acts.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia led list of countries whose citizens have applied for a visa to the Schengen countries. In 2019, Russians filed approximately 4 million applications for Schengen visas, or more than 23% of all applications.

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