Irrational: Kremlin slams Zelenskyy’s call for int’l travel ban on Russians


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s demand for an international travel ban on all Russians has triggered heavy criticism in Moscow but found support in Baltic countries.

Zelensky’s appeal was received “extremely negatively”, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, according to the Interfax agency.

“The irrationality of the thought process exceeds every measure,” he said.

The President told the Washington Post in an interview published on Monday that “the most important sanctions are to close the borders because the Russians are taking away someone else’s land”, reports dpa news agency.

In reply to his travel sanctions suggestion, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday called him “the greatest Ukrainian clown” on Twitter, and even compared him to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

Since the start of Russia’s invasion, Medvedev has repeatedly hurled insults at Ukraine, a country he recently suggested may soon not even “exist on the world map”.

Moscow frequently justifies its war by saying it is carrying out the “de-Nazification” of Ukraine, a phrase that causes particular outrage because Zelensky is of Jewish descent.

EU countries neighboring Russia have become more vocal recently on the issue of tourist visas for Russians.

The Finnish Foreign Ministry raised concerns that Finland is being used as a transit country by some Russian tourists to enter the EU before traveling on to their final destination within the bloc.

Tourist visas for countries that are part of the so-called Schengen area, which is made up of 22 EU countries as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Lichtenstein, allow tourists to travel freely between the countries.

The Finnish Foreign Ministry is now considering whether to stop issuing new visas to people who have used Finland as a transit hub in the past.

“It’s not right that at the same time as Russia is waging an aggressive, brutal war of aggression in Europe, Russians can live a normal life, travel in Europe, be tourists,” Prime Minister Sanna Marin told Finnish public broadcaster Yle.

“My personal position is that tourism should be restricted,” she added.

Finland’s call to sanction tourist visas is echoed by EU countries Estonia and Latvia who also share a land border with Russia.

“Stop issuing tourist visas to Russians,” Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, adding that traveling to Europe “is a privilege, not a human right”.

Meanwhile, Latvia has already tightened visa requirements.

Although the European Commission proposes options to sanction Russia, a spokesperson declined to comment on the calls to restrict visa travel for Russian travelers in the EU.

–IANS

ksk/

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practice the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.