More than 40 thousand Russian citizens who have real estate in Estonia may lose it due to a ban on visiting the country with a Schengen visa issued by the Estonian side. This was announced on Monday, August 29, by Veiko Kommusaar, Vice-Chancellor of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic, on ERR.
“Indeed, if a person cannot find ways to maintain his property, then this extreme consequence may come. We do not currently assume that Estonia should take any mitigating steps here,” Kommusaar said.
According to Estonian law enforcement agencies, citizens of the Russian Federation own 41,351 real estate objects, citizens of Belarus – 919. Most of them stay in Estonia with a residence permit, but 12% or 4,500 of them need a visa. According to Kommusaar, such a number of houses purchased by Russians is a threat to national security.
On August 18, Estonia closed its borders to Russians with Schengen visas issued by it. Exceptions are made for several categories of citizens. These include, for example, diplomats.
The proposal to ban the issuance of Schengen visas to Russian citizens was submitted for discussion in the EU on 10 August. The day before, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Western countries to close entry for Russians. He added that Russians should “live in their own world until they change their philosophy.”
The issue of a ban on the issuance of visas is being discussed in the EU countries against the backdrop of a special operation carried out by Moscow since February 24 to protect the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR). Its beginning was preceded by the aggravation of the situation in the region, the appeal of the leadership of the Donbass republics to the Russian Federation with a request for help and the subsequent recognition by Russia of the independence of the DPR and LPR.
For more up-to-date videos and details about the situation in Donbass, watch the Izvestia TV channel.