German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says Berlin will not back a ban on Russian tourists

Image of German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz. Credit: Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.com

Berlin will not back a visa ban for Russian tourists in EU countries according to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

 

Speaking on Monday, August 15, Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor, said Berlin was against banning visas for Russian tourists. He was in the Norwegian capital of Oslo after a one-day meeting of the Nordic nation’s leaders, to which he had been invited.

Several nations have called for a total ban on Russian tourists in EU countries as long as the conflict rages in Ukraine. Estonia has already made this decision, while the leaders of Denmark and Finland are believed to be considering it.

They have called for this visa matter to be a topic of discussion on August 31, when an informal meeting of European Union foreign ministers will take place.

“This is not the war of the Russian people. It is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war, and we have to be very clear on that topic”, Scholz stressed. “It is important to us to understand that there are a lot of people fleeing from Russia because they are disagreeing with the Russian regime”, the Chancellor told a press conference.

He added: “All the decisions we make within the EU should not make it more complicated to go for freedom, to leave the country”.

Sanna Marin, the Finnish Prime Minister agrees with Estonia and wants the visa ban put in place. She told the press conference though that it was something: “we need to discuss. It is not a black or white question, there are shades of grey”, she said. Her country has already lowered the number of visas granted to Russians.

Air travel from Russia to EU states was banned shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is still possible though for citizens to cross the borders into other neighbouring countries and catch a flight to European destinations, as reported by uk.news.yahoo.com.

A visa issued in Europe’s ‘Schengen area’ can be used for travel in any of the 26 EU states, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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