Baltic Nations Agree On Visa Ban for Most Russian Citizens by Mid-September

The ban will have some exemptions for diplomatic and humanitarian work

The Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia agreed Wednesday to coordinate a ban that will restrict border crossings for the majority of Russian citizens, which they plan to implement by mid-September.

Under the ban, the three Baltic nations will not allow Russians with Schengen visas to enter their territory, with some exemptions. The Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows people to travel freely through the EU.

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said the three Baltic nations agreed on the ban in “principle,” but it still needs to be approved at the parliamentary level. The details still need to be worked out, including the specifics for exemptions.

The exemptions are expected to apply to Russians who are doing diplomatic or humanitarian work and also to people looking to visit their families. The ban will apply to Russians trying to enter the Baltic states through Russia and Belarus.

The Baltic nations’ plan came after the EU as a whole couldn’t agree on a blanket visa ban on Russians. While the EU agreed to tighten restrictions, several countries, including France and Germany, were opposed to an outright ban. Finland, which shares an over 800-mile border with Russia, has announced it will cut the number of visas issued to Russians by 90%.

The action taken by Russia’s neighbors came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Western nations to ban Russian travelers. In his call, Zelensky said the “whole population” of Russia was responsible for Vladimir Putin’s war and that they should all be punished.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.