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EU should welcome Russians – top official – RT World News

EU Council President Charles Michel called on the bloc to ‘swiftly cooperate’ in the partial mobilization in Russia

European Union should welcome Russians fleeing the country “because of their political opinions” EU Council President Charles Michel said on Friday.

In an interview with Politico, Michel explained that the block should show “Openness to those who do not want to be exploited by the Kremlin. His remarks come two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of reservists – a move that Michel said changes the dynamics of the Ukrainian conflict.

“In principle, I think that…the European Union [should] welcome those who are in danger because of their political opinions. If in Russia people are in danger because of their political opinions, because they do not follow this crazy decision of the Kremlin to start this war in Ukraine, we must take this into consideration,said the EU official.

He added that under the current circumstances, EU members should act quickly.

“I agree on the idea that we must very quickly cooperate and coordinate because it is a new fact, this partial mobilization”, Michael explained.

Meanwhile, several EU countries have already demonstrated the completely opposite approach. On Friday, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto announced an entry ban for Russians holding Schengen tourist visas. The Helsinki decision follows a sharp increase in the flow of Russian citizens to Finland.

On Wednesday, the day Putin made his explosive announcement, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said his country would not issue humanitarian or other visas to Russian nationals trying to escape mobilization.

The next day he explained his position by saying that many of these Russians “agreed to kill Ukrainians.” Therefore, Rinkevics argued, “there are considerable security risks {in} admitting them.”

The other Baltic countries, Estonia and Lithuania, made similar statements.

Meanwhile, German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann has made it clear that “Anyone who hates Putin’s way and loves liberal democracy is warmly welcomed in Germany.”

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Friday that his country would also continue to issue Schengen visas to Russians.

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