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United States does not support blanket visa ban for Russians

  • A State Department spokesperson said Monday that the US does not support a blanket visa ban for Russian citizens.
  • The US wouldn’t want to close off pathways to refuge and safety for Russia’s dissidents or others who are vulnerable to human rights abuses.
  • A tourist visa ban has been supported by a number of countries, including the Czech Republic, Estonia, and Latvia.

 

A State Department spokesperson said Monday that the US does not support a blanket visa ban for Russian citizens.

“The US wouldn’t want to close off pathways to refuge and safety for Russia’s dissidents or others who are vulnerable to human rights abuses. We’ve also been clear that it is important to draw a line between the actions of the Russian government and its policies in Ukraine, and the people of Russia,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

The US has “worked with Allies and partners to impose costs, including visa restrictions for Kremlin officials and their enablers,” according to the spokesperson.

“Since Feb. 24, 2022, the United States has taken steps to impose visa restrictions on nearly 5,000 individuals in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” they said. “We will continue to identify those involved in Russia’s invasion and will promote accountability for their conduct. We are looking at all tools to hold the Kremlin to account.”

The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, also spoke out against a blanket visa ban on Monday, saying that “forbidding the entry of all Russians is not a good idea.”

Ukrainian officials have urged nations to stop allowing Russian citizens to enter the country, with President Volodymyr Zelensky telling the Washington Post in early August that “the most important sanctions are to close the borders — because the Russians are taking someone else’s land.”

A tourist visa ban for Russians has been supported by a number of countries, including the Czech Republic, Estonia, and Latvia.

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