The newspaper raised the question of whether ordinary citizens of the Russian Federation should be punished for Vladimir Putin’s war
In the countries of the European Community, a discussion has been going on for several weeks regarding the restriction of the right of entry to citizens of Russia on the basis of short-term tourist visas. Several EU states – for example, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia – already refuse to issue such visas to Russians. Others want the entire European Union to make a decision in solidarity.
On Wednesday, August 31, at an informal meeting in Prague, the ministers of foreign affairs should deal with this issue. In Poland, the participants of the survey conducted by the Institute of Market and Social Research (IBRiS) commissioned by the newspaper “Rzeczpospolita” have no doubts – more than 70 percent are of the opinion that Russian citizens should not have the right to travel freely to the countries of the European Union, although 39.2 percent believe that in in special situations (for example, the funeral of a loved one) they must obtain a visa. Only 15.9 percent of respondents are of the opinion that citizens of Russia should not be deprived of the opportunity to travel to the EU.
“Until ordinary people understand that they are jointly responsible for the aggression in Ukraine, nothing will change,” the publication quotes Andrzej Halytskyi, a politician of the Civic Coalition, who is one of the heads of the Commission on Civil Liberties, Justice and Internal Affairs in the European Parliament. However, in his opinion, the expulsion of Russian citizens who are in the EU would be too radical, as it would also apply to opponents of Putin and opponents of the war, and they deserve help and cooperation, read more.
According to the politician, most Russians are unaware of what is happening in Ukraine. “They feel that nothing has happened, the war is somewhere far away, and in fact it is only a “special operation” in which “our brave soldiers” are fighting. These people are also responsible for aggression and it should not be the case that they do not pay the price for their behavior and state of mind,” the newspaper quoted.
The head of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan Lipavsky, told the Polish newspaper that “in a situation where Russia has declared war on all international principles in the field of security, it is probably possible to use such a tool.” Moreover, we are talking only about tourist visas. In the future, it would be possible to issue humanitarian visas.
The attitude to the proposal of a radical restriction of visas for Russians depends, in particular, on political sympathies. The largest group among United Right voters, 42 percent, support a total entry ban, 39 percent allow it in special situations, and 13 percent would also like to remove Russians already in the EU.
However, almost half of opposition voters allow entry in emergency situations, 20 percent want a complete ban, and only 1 percent indicate the need to remove them from the EU.
Among undecided voters, as many as 34 percent are of the opinion that Russians, as before, should not have restrictions on entering the EU.