Estonia to close entry to all Russian citizens with Schengen visas from 19 September

Estonia will close entry to all Russian citizens with Schengen visas, including the ones issued by other EU countries, from 19 September, said Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu, quoted by Russia’s news agency Interfax, during a press conference.

“On the night of 19 September or at 00:00 on 19 September the ban on entry for Russian citizens through external borders, no matter what country issued their Schengen visa, will become enforced,” he added.

Reinsalu also emphasised that Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland would act similarly. According to him, the appeal to Russian citizens is: “Don’t come here with Schengen visas, you are not welcome!”

The ban extends to people travelling via tourist visas and does not extend towards individuals that want to visit Estonia to see their relatives or for other humanitarian reasons.

On 18 August, Estonia shut down borders for Russian holders of Schengen visas issued by Estonia. Exceptions will be made for people that work in the diplomatic missions, whose job is related to international travel, whose presence is related to humanitarian reasons, for people that are visiting a living relative in Estonia, or have the right to freedom of movement within the EU.

On 28 July, Estonia suspended temporary residency permit and education visa issuance to Russians. Moreover, Russians and Belarusians can no longer be legally employed for short-term jobs without a valid visa issued by Estonia. Reinsalu previously said that Russia’s war with Ukraine also jeopardised the security of Estonia and the EU.

Yesterday, 7 September, Foreign Minister of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs declared that Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia had agreed to restrict entry to Russian citizens with Schengen visas through land borders with Russia and Belarus. Exceptions will be made for truck drivers, diplomates, and people arriving for family or humanitarian reasons.

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