Kiev, (UNI) Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba asked EU and G7 countries on Wednesday to stop issuing visas to Russians after Germany admitted that a similar measure was being discussed within the European Union as part of a new sanctions package.
“I call on all EU and G7 states to stop issuing visas to Russians. President Zelenskyy is absolutely right to insist on this. Russians overwhelmingly support the war on Ukraine. They must be deprived of the right to cross international borders until they learn to respect them,” Kuleba said on social media.
German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said that visas might “play a role” in the seventh package of sanctions against Russia.
The European Commission said last week that the 26-nation borderless Schengen area cannot completely stop issuing visas to Russian citizens. It added that EU member states could decide for themselves whether to consider each application for a short-term tourist visa on an individual basis.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday that freedom of movement was essential for exercising human rights and enshrined in international laws. The foreign ministry said that Russia should be prepared for any eventuality and warned the EU that any hostile action would not be left without a proportional reaction.