- Ukraine has called on foreign countries to ban Russian tourists from visiting their countries.
- Ukrainian officials say it could be the most effective way to end the war.
- Russia invaded Ukraine more than 6 months ago.
Ukraine called on the European Union and G7 to ban Russian travelers in an effort bring an end to Russia’s invasion, NBC News reported.
The call has garnered mixed reactions from various countries with some opposing the idea of a visa ban for ordinary Russians, NBC News reported.
“We are not speaking about punishment, we’re speaking about restrictive measures which are aiming to end the war,” Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu told NBC News. “The right to enter any particular country is not a human right.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has previously called to ban Russian tourists, telling The Washington Post earlier this month that “the most important sanctions are to close the borders — because the Russians are taking away someone else’s land.”
It’s been more than six months since Russia invaded Ukraine.
In an op-ed earlier this week, Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba said banning Russian tourists, business people and students would be “an appropriate response to Russia’s genocidal war of aggression.”
“But why sanction ordinary Russians?” some ask. Because an overwhelming majority of them support this war, cheer the murder of Ukrainian civilians, laud missile strikes on Ukrainian cities and deny Russian war crimes,” Kuleba said.
Countries like Germany and the US have voiced opposition to a visa ban on ordinary Russians.
“This is not the war of the Russian people, but it is Putin’s war,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, according to Politico.
Reuters reported that a State Department spokesperson said the US “wouldn’t want to close off pathways to refuge and safety for Russia’s dissidents or others who are vulnerable to human rights abuses. “
“We’ve also been clear that it is important to draw a line between the actions of the Russian government and its policies in Ukraine, and the people of Russia,” the spokesperson added.
Poland and Finland have come out in support of banning Russian tourists, NBC News reported. Finland has also said it would reduce the number of visas it gives to Russians starting next month, Reuters reported.