The Czech Republic, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union (EU), considered on Friday that a visa ban for all Russian travelers could be the bloc’s next sanction against Russia.

“The total freeze on Russian visas by all EU member states could be another very effective sanction,” Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said in a statement obtained by GLM.

Lipavsky said he will make the proposal at an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Prague in late August.

The Ukrainian authorities demand that the EU take this measure, which divides the countries of the block, forced to adopt sanctions unanimously.

“In this period of Russian aggression, which the Kremlin continues to intensify, one cannot speak of ordinary tourism for Russian citizens,” Lipavsky said.

The Czech Republic stopped issuing visas to Russians from February 25, the day after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The EU has so far adopted six sanctions packages against Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Western countries to ban all Russian citizens from entering in an interview with the Washington Post this week.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto presented a plan last week to limit tourist visas for Russians.

Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of Estonia, also bordering Russia, called on the EU to stop issuing visas to Russians earlier this week.

“Visiting Europe is a privilege, not a human right,” she wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

Lipavsky said the move would send “a very clear and direct signal to Russian society.”

He would show that “the Western world does not tolerate the Russian regime’s aggression and hateful rhetoric against free and democratic countries that do not pose a threat to Russia,” he added.

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