8 Sep 2022 17:05

Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia to restrict entry for Russian citizens from Sept 19 - statement

BRUSSELS. Sept 8 (Interfax) - Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will restrict entry for Russian citizens traveling with visas issued by EU member states from September 19, the four prime ministers said in a joint statement.

"Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have agreed on a common regional approach and [...] in order to address imminent public policy and security threats and restrict the entry into the Schengen area for the Russian citizens travelling for tourism, culture, sport and business purposes," the statement said.

The statement noted that the restrictions did not imply a full travel ban.

"We [...] commonly agreed legitimate exceptions will remain in force for dissidents, humanitarian cases, family members, holders of residence permits, for the facilitation of freight and transportation services, diplomatic missions, Kaliningrad facilitated transit of persons, etc.," it said.

The prime ministers hailed the EU's intention to suspend the visa facilitation agreement with Russia and called for further measures to be taken in the visa policy.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said earlier on Thursday that Estonia would start denying entry to Russian citizens, including those with Schengen visas issued by third countries, from September 19.

For his part, Estonian Interior Minister Lauri Laanemets said that 600 Russian citizens used to cross the Russian-Estonian border per day, and their number dropped to 100-150 after the first package of restrictive measures was adopted.