(MENAFN) Yana Toom, a member of the Estonian Center Party in the European Parliament, said on Thursday that the decision by the Estonian government to forbid Russians with Schengen visas issued by the Baltic nation from entering the country makes Tallinn appear "a little weak-minded."
Visiting Europe is "a privilege, not a human right," according to Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, who called on the EU to forbid Russians from receiving Schengen visas as part of sanctions against Russia for its offensive in Ukraine.
Tallinn announced on Thursday that beginning the following week, it would bar Russian nationals with Schengen visas from the Baltic state. Toom referred to the action as "absurd" in an interview with Russian-language television channel ETV+.
The MEP explained that Tallinn's only option is to effectively invalidate its own visas because Estonia "cannot make decisions for the entire Schengen area" and lacks the authority to impose travel restrictions on Russians who were granted visas by other Schengen nations.
“I think we look a little weak-minded in this, but nevertheless this is the idea,” the MEP stated.
She claimed that the Estonian government is currently attempting "to push through the European Council" the notion of a complete Schengen exclusion for Russia, but "the idea is not pushable."
“Because there is a legislative definition of the sanction’s regime, it has goals, stated goals, such as to maintain or restore peace, maintain democracy, and so on, I just can’t figure out in my small head how a ban on entry for Russians will restore peace in Ukraine. It just doesn’t fit in my head,” Toom claimed.
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