Germany and France are jointly speaking out against a far-reaching entry ban for Russian citizens in the EU.
"We should think about clever ways to use the important lever of issuing visas," says a position paper sent to the other member states for the meeting of foreign ministers this Tuesday and Wednesday in Prague. Applications from Russian nationals should be carefully scrutinized for possible security risks. At the same time, one should not underestimate the impact of direct experience of life in democracies. This applies in particular to future generations.
Warning of "Rally around the flag" effects
One warns against far-reaching restrictions of the visa policy. It is important to prevent the Russian narrative from being fed and from alienating future generations. In addition, so-called "rally around the flag" effects could occur. This means that citizens sometimes tend to stand united behind their leadership in the event of attacks and provocations from outside.
The background to the German-French position is the discussion that has been going on for days about whether Russians should be prevented from traveling to the EU for shopping trips and vacations, while thousands of people are dying in Ukraine because of the war.