Visa denied
Visa deniediStock

Estonia and Finland called on EU nations to stop giving tourist visas to Russians this week in response to the ongoing Ukraine war.

“Stop issuing tourist visas to Russians. Visiting Europe is a privilege, not a human right,” Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said on Twitter. “Air travel from RU is shut down. It means while Schengen countries issue visas, neighbours to Russia carry the burden (FI, EE, LV – sole access points).”

“Time to end tourism from Russia now,” she added.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin told Finnish broadcaster YLE on Monday that the EU should act to deny tourist visas to Russians.

"It is not right that while Russia is waging an aggressive, brutal war of aggression in Europe, Russians can live a normal life, travel in Europe, be tourists," Marin said.

Both countries called on European states to cease providing tourist visas to Russian citizens looking to vacation in Europe as long as the conflict in Ukraine continues.

The proposal will likely be discussed at an informal interior ministers meeting later in August.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also broached the idea, telling the Washington Post that he urged the EU to deny visas to Russians.

Latvia, which has already stopped giving out visas to Russian citizens, also called for a European-wide agreement.

Kallas explained that visas issued to Russians by EU countries was placing pressure on countries sharing borders with Russia.

According to YLE, Russian companies are offering bus and car trips from St. Petersburg to airports in Helsinki and Lappeenranta, Finland, where direct flights to other European cities are available.