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Tourist visa bans will only impact rich supporters of Putin: expert

Brent Sadler, a senior fellow for naval warfare and advanced technology at The Heritage Foundation, was TVP World’s guest, to discuss the ban on tourist visas for Russians in Schengen Zone and whether it is at all possible to communicate with Russia like with a civilised country.

Some European leaders, like those of France and Germany, resist the imposition of a tourist visa ban against Russian citizens, saying that it would be a case of imposing collective responsibility on the Russian people for what they say is Putin’s war.

But Mr Sadler says that it is not just Putin’s war, but Russia’s war, and citizens of Russia, not just its political leadership overwhelmingly support it. And yet, even though the vast majority of Russians support the war, only a small minority would be affected by such a ban: oligarchs and other rich Russians, who have the money to travel and still support the war, for as long as it does not affect them. Most of the middle class and practically the entirety of the lower class will not be impacted in the least.

Other matters discussed by Mr Sadler were: why are certain countries so determined to keep the Schengen Zone open to Russian tourists; is it even at all possible to have a dialogue with Russian people, who have time and again shown that their values are completely incompatible with those of civilised nations; and is there anything that EU member states of Central and Eastern Europe, who overwhelmingly support such a ban, can do in their own capacity if no bloc-wide ban is reached.

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