Czechia closes borders to Russian tourists with Schengen visas

At the same time, the country is easing visa rules for Ukrainian and Belarusian students.

Ioana Caloianu

Written by Ioana Caloianu Published on 13.10.2022 10:30:00 (updated on 25.10.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech government approved yesterday an entry ban for Russians with valid Schengen visas for the purpose of tourism, sport, and culture issued by any EU country as of Oct. 25, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský announced.

The measure means that Russian citizens who arrive in the Czech Republic from outside the Schengen area for the purpose of tourism, sport, and culture will be denied entry. Around 200 Russians arrive in Czechia every day via its international airports.

"While in Ukraine, Russian rockets are falling on children's playgrounds and on people who are simply going to work, up to 200 citizens of the Russian Federation travel to the Czech Republic via the international airport every day," said Lipavský.

Finland, the Baltic countries, and Poland also closed their borders to Russian tourists in recent weeks, according to Euronews. "It is unacceptable that the Russian citizens who support the war can travel freely in the world, in Lithuania, and the EU," said Agnė Bilotaitė, Lithuania's interior minister.

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The Czech Republic issued a ban on visas for Russian and Belarusian citizens following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, which is still in force, with exceptions for humanitarian cases.

In related news, the Foreign Ministry approved yesterday a decree allowing Ukrainians who received temporary protection in a different EU country to ask for temporary visas in the Czech Republic, ČTK reports.

Many Ukrainian students currently enrolled in Czech academic institutions received temporary protection in a different EU country, which means that their applications for the right to stay in the Czech Republic submitted at diplomatic offices is unacceptable. "Such applicants are virtually barred from long-term studies in the Czech Republic," the Foreign Ministry said.

The visa exemption was also extended to Belarusians who are the recipients of university fellowships provided by the Czech Republic, the EU or international organizations.

"The fellowships are designed to support and provide quality European education to those who are politically persecuted and who may positively influence the development of Belarus in the medium term," the Foreign Ministry said in a report for the legislation.

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