The federal government is very reluctant to demands from Finland and the Baltic states to ban Russian citizens from entering Germany or the Schengen area.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) said on Thursday at his summer press conference in Berlin: "This is Putin's war, that's why I'm having a hard time with it." The European Union has decided on far-reaching sanctions against people from the Moscow power center.

That will continue, said Scholz.

However, he does not think it is right to impose punitive measures against all Russians, said the Chancellor.

Eckhart Lohse

Head of the parliamentary editorial office in Berlin.

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The Federal Foreign Office informed the FAZ that the aim of the partial suspension of visas for certain groups of people as part of the general sanctions was "to hit the Russian political elite responsible for the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine".

However, a complete suspension of visas for Russian citizens would not affect Russian tourists, but also people from civil society such as schoolchildren, students or close relatives of EU citizens.

"Contact with civil society, especially the part that is open to the EU and critical of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, remains important."

The foreign policy spokesman for the Greens in the Bundestag, Jürgen Trittin, also expressed his negative opinion.

"I don't believe in shutting out Russian civil society at all," he told the FAZ. Tourist visas are often the only way for opposition figures to leave Russia.

But it would be good to end the visa exemption for business trips, for example to prevent secret service employees from traveling, said the Green politician.

According to the Federal Foreign Office, German authorities have issued 14,000 visas to Russians for the Schengen area so far this year.

In all of 2019, there were more than 153,000.

The numbers in 2020 and 2021 were significantly lower than in 2019 due to the corona pandemic. More than 10,000 national visas for Germany have already been issued this year, according to the Federal Foreign Office.

In the entire pre-Corona year 2019 there were only almost 6300.