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Hard to imagine visa ban on Russians, German chancellor says

Olaf Scholz noted that a move targeting "everyone, including the innocent," would reduce the effectiveness of sanctions

BERLIN, August 11. /TASS/. It’s hard to imagine a ban on the issuance of Schengen visas to Russian nationals, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday.

According to him, it is the Russian leadership that is responsible for the situation in Ukraine and not the Russian people. Scholz pointed out that the European Union had earlier imposed "large-scale sanctions" on Russia, which "are affecting many specific people and oligarchs supporting the Russian government." "We will certainly go on with it,"the German chancellor added. He also stressed that a move targeting "everyone, including the innocent," would reduce the effectiveness of sanctions.

German Government Spokesman Steffen Seibert said at a briefing on Wednesday that the initiative to ban the issuance of Schengen visas to Russians had been submitted to the EU. German Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Andrea Sasse, in turn, noted that the initiative might be discussed at an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Prague in late August.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said earlier in an interview with the Washington Post that Western countries should ban entry to all Russians. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, in turn, called on EU countries to ban the issuance of tourist visas to Russian nationals. According to her, visiting Europe is a privilege and not a human right. The Finnish Foreign Ministry stated that the country could introduce restrictions if a large number of Russians sought to travel to other European countries using visas issued by Finland.

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, commenting on those initiatives, that there was no use trying to isolate Russia and Russians. According to Peskov, some countries forget everything because of their unfriendly attitude to Moscow. Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev slammed Kallas for her statement based on Nazism and emphasized that Zelenksy’s initiative was reminiscent of Adolf Hitler’s ideas.