The United States does not support a blanket visa ban for Russian citizens, a State Department spokesperson said Monday.
“The US wouldn’t want to close off pathways to refuge and safety for Russia’s dissidents or others who are vulnerable to human rights abuses. We’ve also been clear that it is important to draw a line between the actions of the Russian government and its policies in Ukraine, and the people of Russia,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
The spokesperson added that the US has “worked with Allies and partners to impose costs, including visa restrictions for Kremlin officials and their enablers.”
“Since Feb. 24, 2022, the United States has taken steps to impose visa restrictions on nearly 5,000 individuals in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” they said. “We will continue to identify those involved in Russia’s invasion and will promote accountability for their conduct. We are looking at all tools to hold the Kremlin to account.”
Some context: Josep Borrell, the European Union's top diplomat, on Monday also came out against a blanket visa ban, saying that "to forbid the entrance to all Russians is not a good idea."
Ukrainian officials have called on nations to stop allowing entrance for Russian citizens, with President Volodymyr Zelensky telling the Washington Post in early August, "the most important sanctions are to close the borders — because the Russians are taking away someone else’s land.”
Several countries, including the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, have backed a tourist visa ban for Russians.