In a week, the decision will take effect in Estonia, according to which the country will not let in Russians with Schengen visas issued by Estonia with few exceptions. This was announced by the Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu at a press conference following the governmental session, ERR reports.
Estonia already does not issue tourist visas to Russians, but the current decision means that Russian citizens with valid Schengen visas will not be able to enter the country either.
"In a week the sanction will apply to Schengen visas issued by the Republic of Estonia. The sanction means that visas will remain valid. However, visa holders will be sanctioned when entering Estonia, that is, they will be banned from entering Estonia," the minister said.
He added that the decision includes exceptions. Entry will be allowed to employees of diplomatic missions in Estonia and their family members, persons engaged in international cargo and passenger transport, persons with the right of free movement under EU law, persons whose entry into Estonia is necessary for humanitarian reasons, as well as close relatives of persons with Estonian citizenship or permanent residence in Estonia.
"I emphasize again. First of all, this provision comes into force in a week. Secondly, it means that the lion's share of Schengen visas issued in Estonia are actually still valid, but people who do not fall under the exception are not allowed to enter Estonia," the minister said.
As Reinsalu stressed, this decision applies only to visas issued by Estonia and does not apply to documents issued by other Schengen countries.
Next week, however, the Estonian government intends to discuss ways to ban all Russian citizens with Schengen visas from entering Estonia.