As Russia celebrates the fifth day of its attempts to invade Ukraine, more European Union member states are working to toughen their approach to the country. So far, the majority of EU member states have banned Russian airlines from their airspace, stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens, closed their consulates in Russia, and are now advising their citizens against non-essential travel to this country.
On Sunday, February 27, several EU member states and Schengen states issued travel warnings against Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine, citing security reasons.
“In view of the ongoing military invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation and the potential threat to deterioration of security in the country, especially for citizens of EU and NATO countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic strongly warns against travel to the Russian Federation,” the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted in a press release issued on Sunday. .
The same also warns those already in Russia to leave as soon as possible. Those who choose to stay despite the travel warning are advised to exercise extreme caution during their stay and have a plan to leave the country in case of emergency.
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also issued an advice not to travel to Russia, noting that the situation in this country may deteriorate rapidly, while the closed atmosphere throughout Europe will make it difficult to travel to and from Russia.
“In Russia, there are social unrest, and many arrests have been made. The ministry notes that demonstrations and signs for or against the situation in Ukraine can accelerate and increase the overall security risks for Norwegian travelers.
It also encourages those who decide to travel, despite the situation, to contact their insurance company to ensure they have valid travel insurance and to follow closely the development of the situation.
Two Baltic states, Latvia and Estonia, both neighboring countries of Russia, have also advised their citizens to avoid traveling to Russia due to the current situation. Both countries have also strongly discouraged their citizens from traveling to Belarus.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia has advised its citizens to leave Belarus due to its involvement in the comprehensive Russian military action against Ukraine and the increased activity of Russian and Belarusian forces on the territory of Belarus.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also announced that the work of the Latvian embassy in Minsk had been suspended indefinitely, as a result of which consular assistance and consular services were not provided at the embassy in Minsk.
A third country neighboring Russia – Finland – also urged its citizens to avoid traveling to Russia, with a special focus on the Russian-Ukrainian border area directly from the regions of Belgorod, Voronezh and Rostov.