by Donald Wood
Last updated: 2:17 PM ET, Thu September 8, 2022
Four countries in Europe announced they would begin to limit the number of Russians permitted to enter Europe's visa-free zone via land due to potential security concerns.
According to The Associated Press, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have reached an agreement to implement a common regional approach with the "political will and firm intention to introduce national temporary measures for Russian citizens holding European Union visas."
The new rules will go into effect by September 19 in all four countries.
"We believe that this is becoming a serious threat to our public security and to the overall shared Schengen area," Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said. "There are people coming with the aim of undermining the security of our countries."
"We emphasize that this is not an outright entry ban and commonly agreed legitimate exceptions will remain," Kallas continued. "Travel to the European Union is a privilege, not a human right. It is unacceptable that citizens of the aggressor state are able to freely travel in the EU, whilst at the same time people in Ukraine are being tortured and murdered."
The Polish government also said the goal of limiting Russians arriving via land was to "prevent direct threats to the public order and security." Last month, the EU considered a broad visa ban on Russian citizens, but there were concerns about punishing ordinary people who may not support the war in Ukraine.
"What we have seen in the last couple of weeks and months is that number of border crossings by Russian citizens holding Schengen visas has dramatically increased," Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said. "This is becoming also a public security issue. This is ... an issue of a moral and political nature."
Earlier this year, hotel giant Hyatt suspended service provisions previously supplied under a management agreement with the Hyatt Regency Sochi and terminated all contracts and any relationship or association with the Hyatt Regency Moscow Petrovsky Park.
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