'It’s not right!' EU row erupts as Scholz slapped down in heated spat on Russia travel ban


Russians should “live in their own world until they change their philosophy”, Mr Zelensky told the Washington Post as the war on his country nears the six-month mark.

Some, including Ms Marin, backed the President’s view outright.

According to the Prime Minister of Finland, which shared an 830-mile border with Russia, holidays in Europe are “a privilege, not a human right”.

She said on Monday: “I think it’s not right that Russian citizens can travel, enter Europe, enter the Schengen area, be tourists, see the sights while Russia is killing people in Ukraine. It’s wrong.”

Mr Scholz, however, while promising to “continue” to impose sanctions on the Kremlin, said it was also important to “understand that there are a lot of people fleeing from Russia because they disagree with the Russian regime”.

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The Prime Minister of Norway — a Schengen but not an EU member — said Russians have “limited” opportunity to travel because of severe air restrictions and argued that travel allowed them to gain a different perspective on the war in Ukraine.

Jonas Gahr Støre told reporters: “They get a black and white picture in Russia because of the propaganda.

“So, Russians being in other parts of the world, seeing this conflict from the other side, getting other information is also a perspective that needs to be taken into account.”

EU law does not allow a general ban on issuing visas, meaning that without a new — unanimous — decision by bloc members, states find themselves in a legal grey area.

The Border Code, which regulates the rules for issuing permits for Schengen travel, allows at most for visa refusal after individual examination. Yet, even then, a country cannot proceed arbitrarily.

Calls from Kyiv and some member states for an EU blanket ban sparked anger at the Kremlin.

Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said last week: “Any attempt to isolate Russia or Russians is a process that has no prospects.

Peskov added that the idea of such a ban displayed an “irrationality of thinking” that was “off the charts”.



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