Estonia bans Russian citizens with Estonian visas from entering the country starting today.
While the bill provides exceptions to many Russians—including those that have a permanent residency status —it will bar Russian citizens with Estonian-issued Schengen visas from entering the country. Tallinn’s decision is a protest against Moscow’s ongoing war in south-eastern Ukraine, a similar reaction to those of many Western states.
Expect Talinn to raise this issue to other EU members during the short-to medium term and encourage them to follow suit. Several EU states—most notably in the Baltic region— are also likely to follow in the footsteps of Tallinn as they hope this initiative will put further pressure on Moscow to negotiate an end to the war. However, Russia’s likelihood of solving the Ukrainian crisis with the West via diplomacy is all but out of question for the time being due to lack of trust and animosity between both sides. Moscow already struggles to fund its offensive due to the severe sanctions implemented by the West. This will further weaken Moscow’s hand during the long-term as it will likely meet further negative reaction from its people that demand peace.
Can is a Publisher and Analyst with Foreign Brief and currently pursuing his PhD in the Department of History at Bighampton University. His research there primarily focuses on the 19th-century Balkan independence movements.