The Czech Republic will not issue humanitarian visas to Russians fleeing their country to avoid the mobilization announced by President Vladimir Putin, the foreign minister said Thursday, quoted by AFP.
The Czech Republic holds the EU presidency in the second half of 2022Photo: DreamsTime
Many Russians want to leave their country since Vladimir Putin decided on Wednesday to mobilize an additional 300,000 people to reinforce the troops that invaded Ukraine on February 24.
“I understand that Russians are running away from the increasingly desperate decisions taken by Putin,” Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said in a statement obtained by AFP.
“But those who leave their country because they do not want to fulfill an obligation imposed by their own state do not meet the criteria to receive a humanitarian visa,” said Lipavsky, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.
The Czechs have thus taken a different stance on the Russian defectors than other EU countries, including Germany, which said on Thursday it was ready to receive them.
“Anyone who courageously opposes Putin and thus puts himself in great danger can apply for political asylum in Germany,” said German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser.
The Czech Republic stopped issuing visas to Russians following the invasion, but made an exception for humanitarian cases.
And Finland wants to completely block the transit of “Russian tourists” on its territory
Finland will prepare a “national solution” to restrict or even completely block the transit of “Russian tourists” on its territory, the foreign minister of this country announced on Wednesday, according to AFP and Reuters.
Finland is closely monitoring the situation in neighboring Russia following President Vladimir Putin’s military mobilization order, the Nordic country’s defense minister said on Wednesday.
“Regarding Finland’s surroundings, I can say that the military situation is stable and calm,” Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen said. “Our defense forces are well trained and the situation is being closely monitored,” he added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Monday morning, in his first address to the nation since the invasion of Ukraine, that he had signed a decree on partial mobilization in Russia.
Russia will mobilize 300,000 reservists to strengthen its forces in Ukraine, the Minister of Defense in Moscow, Sergei Shoigu, also announced, claiming that this represents only a small part of the number of people who could be mobilized in the country.
Closed borders for Russians
Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have closed their borders, since Monday, September 19, for Russians with visas to enter the European area, a fact that worries the opponents of the Kremlin present especially in Poland, according to France Info.
However, the site states that exceptions will be made for certain categories, such as opponents of Vladimir Putin’s regime.
These four countries are, together with Finland, the only ones in the European Union that share land borders with Russia.