There should be no “dolce vita” for Russians in the West, the Ukrainian premier says, insisting on a visa ban
Russians should not be allowed into Europe as long as their country is fighting Ukraine, Kiev’s Prime Minister Denis Shmygal said on Friday.
Earlier this week, the EU suspended an agreement with Moscow that previously allowed Russians to receive travel visas to the Schengen Area under a simplified procedure, as part of sanctions over the Ukraine conflict. However, Brussels stopped short of introducing a full visa ban, despite calls from member states including Finland and Estonia.
Shmygal told Germany’s DPA news agency that he believes harsher measures should be implemented against Russian travellers.
“Unfortunately, this is not just Putin’s war,” he said, citing polls that reveal large public support in Russia for the military offensive in Ukraine. “It’s impossible to divide the Russians into good and bad ones,” he added.
It is “unbearable” for the Kiev government that while the conflict continues, some Russians can “make a nice life in the West, go on vacations, live la dolce vita,” the premier insisted.
“There should be a cold shower for the Russian society in the form of a visa ban for tourists and students,” Shmygal added.
Similar pleas have come from Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who told the Washington Post last month that he wanted the Russians to be barred from the West for at least a year. They should “live in their own world until they change their philosophy,” he said.
Moscow earlier said that the idea of a visa ban was “Russophobic” and resembled the policies pursued by Nazi Germany in mid-20th century.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine in late February, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.
https://ift.tt/Z8jJhpS 02, 2022 at 02:05PM
from RT – Daily news