Even Estonia no longer allows the access of Russians with visas issued by

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Estonia announced on Thursday that from next week it will no longer allow access to Russians on its territory – part of the Schengen Area – with visas issued by the Estonian authorities, but will only recognize visas granted by other European states, informs Reuters, according to Agerpres.

With some exceptions, Estonia will no longer grant business, study or work visas to Russians, but will allow Russian students already in the country to complete their studies. Access is also accepted on humanitarian grounds, as well as that of diplomats and their families, those visiting close relatives or holding long-term residence permits and workers in the international transport of goods and passengers.

“We noticed an enormous increase in the number of Russian citizens coming or passing through Estonia”,

explained Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu.

“The possibility they have to visit Estonia or other parts of Europe, via Estonia, en masse, does not respect the principles of the sanctions we imposed” (to Russia, after the invasion of Ukraine – n. ed.).

The official stated that the ban comes into force on August 18.

The European Union agreed last month on the seventh series of sanctions against Moscow.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the West on Tuesday to ban all travel by Russian citizens, but the European Commission doubts that such a measure would be feasible, saying visas should still be granted to family members, journalists or dissidents.

Latvia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic have already stopped issuing visas to most Russians, and Finland and Estonia recently asked the European Union to do the same as a single bloc.

The Schengen area, of which Estonia is also a part, includes 26 countries, most of them members of the EU, but also from outside the Union – Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein.