Latvia stops issuing visas to Russian citizens indefinitely

The Latvian Embassy in Moscow announced that it would stop accepting visa applications for Russian citizens “indefinitely” but did not give specific reasons.

The Latvian Embassy in Moscow announced on Twitter that it will only accept applications from Russian citizens who want to apply for a visa to “attend a relative’s funeral”. The website of the Latvian visa center in Moscow also posted a similar notice.

Latvian authorities did not give a specific reason. Russian officials were not immediately available for comment.

The move is said to be aimed at further tightening Latvia’s countermeasures against Russia after Moscow launched a special military operation in Ukraine at the end of February. Latvia at that time announced it would stop issuing tourist visas for tourists. Russian citizens. Russian citizens can still apply for long-term work and press visas or enter for humanitarian reasons.

European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

European Union flags outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 10, 2019. Image: Reuters.

August 4, news site Delphi Latvia’s government said the government intends to follow a recommendation from the national security agency, which requires visa applicants from Russia and Belarus to undergo additional background checks. Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics earlier called for an EU-wide ban on tourist visas for Russian citizens.

Meanwhile, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu wants the EU to completely ban visas for Russian citizens. Follow BloombergMr. Reinsalu expects this measure to be included in the next EU sanctions package and discussed with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on August 3.

“We need to increase the price Russia has to pay through additional sanctions, further isolating Moscow,” Reinsalu said in an interview.

EU member states such as Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and the Czech Republic have taken measures to restrict visas for Russian citizens. However, an EU-wide visa ban for Russia has not yet received consensus from all 27 EU member states.

Like Tam (Theo RT, Bloomberg)

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