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The Netherlands supports a proposal to stop issuing tourist visas to Russians throughout the European Union. Foreign Affairs Minister Hoekstra told RTL Nieuws that he will be discussing this with his EU colleagues in Prague in the coming days.
The ban on Russian tourists is a sensitive issue in the European Union. Some countries have stopped issuing visas to Russian tourists since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, such as the Baltic states and the Czech Republic.
Countries such as Germany, France, and Cyprus are less inclined to do so, in part because it is more difficult for Russian dissidents to escape from the regime.
Hoekstra mainly hopes to unite in Prague. This is necessary, because Russians who have a visa for a country in the European Union can also visit all other member states of it. This will only have an effect if all member states start banning Russian tourists.
By the way, the Netherlands has not issued any tourist visas to Russians since April. A ministry spokesman said that was because there were no staff to process the visa application.
Moscow declared the staff persona non grata in retaliation for the Netherlands’ deportation of Russian diplomats allegedly involved in espionage.
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Hoekstra just wants to hit Russian tourists with the visa ban. Student, family visitor or refugee visas must continue to be issued.
“On the other hand, you want people-to-people contact and you also want to make a difference between the country of Russia and Russian citizens. At the same time, we see that the vast majority of people who come here come to spend money in the Hooftstraat computer. Mostly wealthy Russians who also belong to system on a regular basis.
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