Kristi Raik, Director, Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the International Centre for Defence and Security
Stefan Meister, Head of Program on International Order and Democracy, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
Jana Puglierin, Head of the Berlin Office and Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR
Leaders from the Baltic States, Finland and elsewhere call for banning Russian tourists from entering the Schengen area. They point to moral obligations given Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine but also highlight practical considerations, such as Russian visitors circumventing EU trade restrictions.
Other European governments, however, argue that a ban would hand Russia’s leadership a political victory and that many Russian dissidents use tourist visas to escape the Kremlin’s encroachment.
On 30-31 August, EU foreign ministers will discuss the issue in person – heated exchanges are to be expected because as much as EU governments are divided on this question, so are European publics.
This debate is part of ECFR’s Re:shape Global Europe project funded by Stiftung Mercator.