Latvia recognized the Russian Federation as a sponsor of terrorism, and Estonia banned entry even to Russians with a Schengen visa
The Saeima of Latvia has recognized Russia as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, due to "Russia's targeted attack on civilians and public space in Ukraine." Writes about it with the BBC.
Of the 100 deputies of the Seimas, 67 supported this decision. The parliamentary statement said that Latvia regards Russia's military actions in Ukraine as terrorist. The Seimas calls on EU countries to stop issuing tourist and other entry visas for citizens of Russia and Belarus. The Latvian parliament called on other countries to make similar decisions and increase sanctions against Russia.
The Seimas said that Russia is responsible for the fact that more than 10 million Ukrainians were forced to leave their homes. In addition, the Russian Federation is responsible for "torture, rape, murder and mass detention of civilians in the so-called filtration camps, as well as for mass forced deportations."
The Russian State Duma was outraged by this statement and promised to take retaliatory measures of an economic nature.
“For the official authorities of Russia, this is not news. I am sure that the Foreign Ministry was preparing proposals related to responding to this situation, and I was sure that such a reaction would follow,” said Dmitry Novikov, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs.
In parallel with the Saeima's statement, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgar Rinkevich said that those residents of the country who have Russian citizenship cannot apply for a residence permit and must leave Latvia.
This will require separate amendments to the Latvian legislation. This was a response to the Russian bill, which plans to simplify the procedure for obtaining citizenship for residents of the Baltic countries.
In May, a similar decision was made by the Seimas of Lithuania, which, in connection with the war in Ukraine, called Russia a state “supporting and carrying out terrorism,” and also recognized Moscow’s actions as genocide of the Ukrainian people.
Ukraine calls on the US and other countries to officially recognize Russia as a country that supports terrorism. If such a decision is made, the Russian authorities may face even tougher sanctions, including financial ones, which will be extremely difficult to lift.
Now the United States considers only four countries of the world to be state sponsors of terrorism: Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria. According to the State Department, these countries have "repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism."
Estonia denied entry
At the same time, Estonia announced the closure of borders even for those Russians who were issued a Schengen visa. This was stated by the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country Urmas Reinsalu, writes RIA News".
“In a week, a sanction will be applied to Schengen visas issued by the Republic of Estonia to citizens of Russia. The sanction means that the visas will remain valid, however, visa holders will be sanctioned when entering Estonia, that is, they will be prohibited from entering Estonia,” he specified.
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He noted, among other things, that there are several exceptions.
“Persons who are employees of diplomatic missions in Estonia and members of their families will not fall under the sanction. Persons engaged in international freight and passenger transportation. Persons entitled to free movement under EU law. Persons whose entry into Estonia is necessary for humanitarian reasons, as well as close relatives of persons who have Estonian citizenship or a permanent residence permit in Estonia,” the minister explained.
Recently, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that it is necessary to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens, and called visiting Europe "a privilege, not a human right."
Read also on ForumDaily:
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