Hungary weighs in on Russian visa ban proposal

Hungary weighs in on Russian visa ban proposal

Budapest does not agree with calls from other EU states, clarifies the FM

Hungary does not support calls by some EU member states to restrict visas for Russian citizens because of the Ukraine conflict, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said.

Several European states, including Estonia and the Czech Republic, are pushing for an EU-wide ban on issuing visas to Russians.

“We have also discussed the proposal to tighten the practice of issuing European visas to Russian citizens. We sympathize with the position of the German chancellor here and do not plan to introduce any hardening or restriction.” Szijjarto said Tuesday after a phone call with his Estonian counterpart, Urmas Reinsalu.

Germany is among several EU countries that have spoken out against a blanket visa ban. Foreign Minister Olaf Scholz argued last week that Europe should not deny entry to Russians who disagree with their country’s government.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, made a similar comment Monday at a conference in Spain. “Are we going to close the door on these Russians? I don’t think that’s a good idea.

Reinsalu insisted that the EU must close the borders to all Russian citizens, except for humanitarian cases. “Russian citizens are not welcome in Europe. Your country is committing a genocidal war against innocent people.” Reinsalu told the Associated Press last week.

The matter will be discussed during an EU meeting in Prague, Czech Republic next week.

Melissa Galbraith
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