Western travel ban for Russians?
Kremlin outraged by Zelenskyy’s “whims”
08/09/2022, 3:25 p.m
Russia dreams of annexing the occupied territories in Ukraine in the near future. The Ukrainian President wants to prevent this with a general travel ban for all Russians. Kremlin spokesman Peskov and former Russian President Medvedev are outraged.
Russia has sharply criticized calls by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for a travel ban on Russian citizens in Europe. The statements were received “extremely negatively,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. The “irrationality of the train of thought” exceeded every measure, he criticized in Moscow. “Sooner or later Europe will ask itself whether Zelenskyy is doing everything right and whether its citizens should pay for his whims. Any attempt to isolate Russia or Russians is a futile process.”
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was also outraged. He berated Zelenskyj on Twitter as “the greatest Ukrainian clown” – and even compared him to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Since the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, Medvedev has repeatedly made derogatory remarks about the neighboring country. In the past, for example, he questioned the continued existence of Ukraine and other former Soviet republics as sovereign states.
“Russians are taking their country away from others”
Zelenskyj had in one Interview with the “Washington Post” called for an international travel ban for all Russians to prevent Moscow from annexing occupied territories. “The most important sanctions are to close the borders, because the Russians are taking other people’s lands,” he told the US newspaper on Monday. Russians should “live in their own world until they change their philosophy”.
The background is Russian plans to incorporate occupied areas of Ukraine. A referendum on joining the Russian Federation was announced in the Zaporizhia region of southern Ukraine on Monday. Similar plans exist for the occupied Kherson region.
Zelenskyj’s comments are also met with a growing discussion in the EU to make it more difficult or to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens. Even if travel is made more difficult by the cut flight and rail connections, many Russians traveled to the EU in the summer despite the war. Russia’s neighbor Latvia has already tightened its visa regulations. Finland is considering this, but demands a solution for the whole Schengen area.