UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has suggested that the UK can “toughen up” visa conditions for Russians. However, he raised doubt over the complete ban.
UK Defence Secretary hints at ‘toughening up’ visa rules for Russian citizens
In a major hint, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace suggested that the UK can “toughen up” visa conditions for Russians in the coming days. However, he expressed doubt over declaring a complete ban on the entry of Russian citizens, Mirror reported citing BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.
“I certainly think we can toughen up the conditions of our visas. I am not sure whether an outright ban is the right way,” he said. Speaking at the radio show, Wallace further remarked that he does not like seeing wives of oligarchs or senior Russian officials “enjoying themselves in Greece or the south of France while their forces continue to carry out their offensive in Ukraine.
Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Western nations to ban entry for all Russian nationals. In an interview with The Washington Post, Zelenskyy suggested that “the most important sanctions are to close the borders because the Russians are taking away someone’s land.”
Finland & Estonia call for ban on entry of Russians
The call from the Ukrainian President has been supported by several EU leaders, including Finland Prime Minister Sanna Marin and her Estonian counterpart Kaja Kallas. Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has said that they should stop issuing tourist visas to Russians. Taking to her official Twitter handle, Kallas said, “Stop issuing tourist visas to Russians. Visiting Europe is a privilege, not a human right” and stressed that it is “time to end tourism from Russia now.”
Notably, Finland, Estonia, and the Czech Republic have called on the EU to impose a bloc-wide ban on tourist visas for Russians in response to Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.
UK PM congratulates Ukraine on Independence Day
The statement of Ben Wallace comes as Ukraine celebrates Independence Day. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a statement to mark Ukraine’s Independence Day where he congratulated the embattled country. In his statement, UK Prime Minister said that he is “delighted” to congratulate Ukraine on its 31st anniversary of Independence.
He stated that Ukraine’s independence is “threatened once again” with its people fighting with “steel and courage” to defend their families and decide their destiny.” The British Prime Minister added that the UK has provided military, economic, and defence support to Ukraine ever since Russia began its offensive on February 24.
Today Ukraine’s independence is threatened once again, and her people are fighting with steel and with courage to defend their homes and their families and to preserve their right to decide their own destiny in their own country,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said