Cutting off contact with the West won’t rouse the Russians against Putin

holds Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, that it is “fair” to ban European visas for “all Russian citizens”. That, ultimately, the citizens of Russia must be held accountable for the actions of “a terrorist state.”

The defenders of the measure argue that it is not only intended to admonish the Russians by preventing a Muscovite or a Casanense from enjoying their vacations in Mykonos or Marbella apart from the atrocities committed on Ukrainian soil in the name of their homeland. It is also intended that a part of society react to the sight of a life of reduced pleasures. Especially a society in which two thirds support the invasion, as some reliable polls show.

The figure causes chills. But it is a figure that would not be explained without a propaganda machine that works at full capacity, and without a regime that makes freedom of expression impossible and punishes the word with jail. war if it is followed by the word Ukraine.

Many of the Twenty-seven agree with Zelensky and act in concert. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic and Finland are applying or will apply full or partial restrictions against Russian citizens, with exceptions set for humanitarian reasons.

All six countries have several common conditions. Everyone knew Soviet imperialism in the last century. Everyone fears, with the recent trauma and the enemy at the gates, that the hostilities of Vladimir Putin do not end up in the Black Sea. And all aspire to convince the rest, taking advantage of the Czech presidency of the Foreign Affairs Council and this week’s meetings in Prague, that it is the next step to take to support a country that, to top it off, is a candidate to enter the Union .

Yes to more sanctions

But the ambitions of the East have been held back by a reality. Most members, including Spain and Germany, rejects with understandable arguments a measure that is governed by the essential criterion of nationality and that poses, aside from the economic compensation, as many moral and legal dilemmas as doubts about its effectiveness.

Will not being able to travel to the Mediterranean call for rebellion sooner than not being able to buy a microwave, due to harsh and unparalleled economic sanctions that are not exclusive to the oligarchs and Putin’s circle?

How does hindering the exit of Russian citizens from a bubble overloaded with disinformation, lies and manipulations, one that attributes the massacres of Ukrainians to the Ukrainians themselves or appeal to intervene against a West conspired to destroy Russia, contribute to the mobilization of thousands of Russians against his despotic regime?

Moreover, how would this measure marry International Law? Can a person be visa-barred based on their nationality?

It is necessary to continue putting pressure on the Putin regime. Tighten economic sanctions. Explore new ways to stop the war in Ukraine. But it is doubtful that barring Russians access to the Schengen area indiscriminately, rather than selectively, be the most effective or the fairest way to achieve it.


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