Fri, 30 Sep 2022

Banning Russian tourists from the bloc is 1940s thinking, Moscow claims

Proposals to stop issuing European Union tourist visas to Russian citizens "don't smell too good" and will not succeed, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman added that this sort of strategy reminds him of "the statements that were coming from the heart of Europe some 80 years ago."

Peskov was responding to a call from Estonian leader Kaja Kallas, and similar noises from Finalnd, to exclude Russians totally from the Schenegen Zone.

He pointed out that it is states which have already been deemed "unfriendly" by Moscow that are making such suggestions. "Many countries just lose their sense of reality in their unfriendliness," he said.

The statements by Helsinki and Tallinn followed a call by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky for all Russian citizens to be banned from traveling to the West for at least a year. Russians should "live in their own world until they change their philosophy," Zelensky told the Washington Post on Monday.

However, the Kremlin spokesman expressed hope that "common sense will prevail and those who made such claims will come round."

The statements by Helsinki and Tallinn followed a call by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky for all Russian citizens to be banned from traveling to the West for at least a year. Russians should "live in their own world until they change their philosophy," Zelensky told the Washington Post on Monday.

The Ukrainian leader insisted it was acceptable to hold a whole nation responsible for the decisions of its government, and suggested that Russian nationals now living in Europe and the US should be deported.

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev expressed a similar view when he commented on claims made by Zelensky in his interview earlier on Tuesday.

"Adolf Hitler tried to implement such ideas about an entire people," said Medvedev, who is now the deputy chair of Russia's Security Council. "Any more questions about the nature of the Ukrainian authorities?"

He was referring to Nazi Germany's extermination of supposedly undesirable groups of people, including Jews, Roma, disabled individuals and communists, in the first half of the 20th century.

(RT.com)

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