After long debates and calls to ban Russian tourists from entering the territory of the European Union and the countries of the Schengen zone, some European countries closed their borders for our compatriots, another part remained formally open, but “problematic” for visiting, the rest let Russians in with severe restrictions, but so far on the national level are not going to block access to travelers from Russia. Map of European countries with visa and entry restrictions for Russian tourists – in the material “Tourprom”.
Borders closed for Russian tourists: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland and the Czech Republic< /p>
The Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), together with Poland, introduced such a ban on September 19 and became the first states of the bloc due to the special operation and the “threat” to the national security of the country, which, in their opinion, is provided by the tourist flow. The Russian side called the behavior of European officials a manifestation of nationalism. “Taking into account the Russian military special operation in Ukraine and the related threats to the national security of the countries, Lithuania, together with Latvia, Estonia and Poland, decided to tighten control over the entry of Russian citizens,” the Schengenvisainfo portal quoted an excerpt from the statement of the Lithuanian Ministry of Internal Affairs. The authorities of three other countries have released statements confirming that they have stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens, and also denied entry to those who already had valid visas in their hands.
The decision split the EU: some EU and state officials -members, this caused criticism, others – support. However, after this step, other countries of the Euroblock, in particular those that have common land borders with the Russian Federation, have taken steps to introduce entry restrictions for Russian travelers.
Immediately after the tough action of the Baltic States and Poland, which are under “pressure due to the influx of Russian tourists,” Finland also decided to close its land borders with Russia. Recall, on September 29, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland announced that entry restrictions for Russians on the eastern border of the country will begin to operate from the next day. “With the adoption of a policy decision by the government on September 29, 2022, Finland will seriously restrict the travel of Russians to Finland for tourism purposes. Entry restrictions will come into effect on September 30, 2022 at 00:00 and remain in effect until further notice,” the ministry said in a statement. In other words, the borders have closed, and no one can predict when they will open. The authorities said that the acceptance of visa applications would be strictly limited – only 100 applications from all Russian cities. In addition, Finland has an entry ban on transit travelers.
Starting next week, October 25, the Czech Republic will also introduce a total ban on Russian citizens holding valid Schengen visas issued by both the Czech Republic and other Schengen countries. On this occasion, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Jan Lipovsky, noted that the ban is necessary, since Russia's special operation in Ukraine cannot be ignored.
Stopped issuing tourist visas to Russians: Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Slovakia, partly Norway
Although no entry ban has been introduced for Russian tourists, several EU and Schengen countries have already suspended issuing all types of Schengen visas, instead issuing only visas for humanitarian purposes or long-term visas for students, employees and family reunification. In fact, serious restrictions are also imposed on tourism from the Russian Federation to the listed countries. For the purpose of recreation, only those who have previously issued visas travel.
Belgium suspended the issuance of tourist visas to Russian citizens in early July this year. Currently, the country only issues visas for students, researchers, one-time work visas and Au-pair visas for young people living and working in a host family.
Before Belgium, in May, Denmark also stopped accepting applications for both short-term and long-term visas to Russia. Currently, the country only issues visas for official visits. “Until further notice, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark in Moscow suspends the process of accepting applications in the Russian Federation for short-term visas and residence permits to Denmark, with the exception of official visits,” the website of the Danish Embassy in Moscow explained. The country also suspended the Visa Facilitation Agreement with Russia on September 6, 2022.
At the same time, the Netherlands stopped issuing short-stay visas to Russian citizens on April 27 after their embassy staff were declared undesirable in Russia. “As a result of the decision of the Russian authorities to declare the consular staff of the Dutch embassy in Moscow persona non grata, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs was forced to suspend the issuance of regular Schengen visas,” the Dutch embassy in Russia explained.
However, the country is still considering applications for humanitarian visas and temporary residence permits.
Similarly, Slovakia has also refused to accept new tourist visa applications in Russia. Visa applications are allowed only for certain categories of citizens of the Russian Federation and in case of emergency.
The border decision was occupied by the Norwegian authorities. Formally, Russians are issued visas, but it is practically impossible to obtain them – a general refusal is recorded. On September 22, Norway, following the example of other EU countries, suspended the visa facilitation agreement with the Russian Federation, which made it even more difficult to obtain visas for tourist trips to this country. At the same time, the European state has not yet closed the land border with the Russian Federation. Recall that both countries in the North have a common 198-kilometer land border, the emergence of which dates back to 1940, when the former Finnish region of Petsamo, now part of the Murmansk region of Russia, ceded to the USSR under a peace treaty with Finland.
By the way, the Russian embassy in Oslo announced discriminatory measures against Russians in the territory popular among travelers in Norway and called on visiting compatriots to be prepared for a biased attitude. Read the details in the article “Embassy announced discriminatory measures against Russians in a popular country.”
Schengen visas are issued, but on more stringent conditions: Germany, Malta, Slovenia
The German authorities still issue Schengen visas to Russian travelers, but now they are subject to rather tough restrictions. While Germany has also unilaterally canceled its visa facilitation agreement with Russia, its authorities have also introduced a new visa requirement – proof of an EU bank account.
The move was announced by outsourcing provider VisaMetric, who warned Russian applicants that only bank statements from a bank that operates in the EU and which they can verify will be accepted to apply for a Schengen visa to Germany.
“Only up-to-date statements issued in the name of the applicant from the audited bank operating in the EU Member States may be considered. The document must contain information about the current amount of funds on the account (accounts). The applicant must provide relevant bank statements for the last three months,” Germany VisaMetric said in a statement.
On the other hand, the tourist island of Malta only accepts applications from Russian citizens who are family members of EU and European Union citizens. economic zone.
Slovenia, in turn, issues visas to Russian citizens only if they present a valid ticket for a direct flight to Slovenia. Train or public transport tickets are not accepted as proof of travel. This requirement confuses many, since Slovenia, like the rest of the EU countries, has closed its skies for flights from Russia and, accordingly, it is impossible to get straight, only with transfers.
For those who value a healthy lifestyle, we recommend read: “The Russians were told what would happen if they washed their hair with rusty tap water.”