German opposition wants tourist visas for Russians halted, Chancellor oposes

Christian Democrats (CSU), part of Germany’s opposition, called for halting tourist visas for Russians amid the country’s aggression on Ukraine. In turn, the country’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz “does not want a general ban.”

“Can Russian tourists vacation in the EU while Russian soldiers turn a European country into rubble? Countries such as Poland, Latvia, Finland and Denmark are no longer willing to accept this and are insisting that visas for Russian travellers be stopped. A decision at the EU level is expected by the end of August,” German daily “The Bild” wrote on Monday.

Germany, however, is blocking the more restrictive approach. A government spokesman told the daily that Olaf Scholz “is not in favour of such a blanket ban” but has “an understanding of the debate.”

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, meanwhile, believes that tourism is something to be cherished, which is why she has imposed a visa ban on Russians without waiting for the EU’s decision.

The head of the Estonian government told “Bild” that “it should be unacceptable for all of us in Europe that Russian citizens can travel in the EU as tourists, while at the same time people in Ukraine are being tortured, murdered and terrorised.”

’Clear signal’ must be sent

Vacation visas for Russians must be stopped,” Andrea Lindholz, internal affairs expert of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) told the newspaper. “In view of the war in Ukraine, a clear signal must also be sent to the Russian population,” she added.

Member of the European Parliament Dennis Radtke (CDU) told the daily that, contrary to what Chancellor Scholz is saying, the Russian war against Ukraine “is not just Putin’s war.”