An all-European Union agreement is being sought
For many of these young people, it may be dangerous to return home in the current situation, because they have spoken out in defense of Ukraine and criticized Russian aggression and the regime, Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets justified the government's decision. «This is punishable under criminal law in Russia, and therefore it was necessary to exceptionally extend the residence permits of these students by one year so that they could finish their studies here,» added the Minister of the Interior.
Läänemets emphasized that it supports the initiative of Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu to prevent the issuing of Schengen tourist visas to Russian citizens. «Citizens of Russia must understand that their country has started a war against Europe, its principles and values. At a time when the Ukrainian people are suffering, vacationing in Europe cannot be a self-evident freedom for Russian citizens,» said the minister.
According to him, they are already looking for ways to prevent the freedom of movement of Russian citizens, but for a real effect, it is necessary to implement visa restrictions in all European Union member countries. «Restrictions by individual countries would have little effect in practice. In addition, we would thereby break the unity of the European Union in the sanctions policy. This is why the minister of foreign affairs must be supported in reaching an agreement on this matter within the European Union,» Läänemets said.
The changes will take effect next week.