STA, 24 August 2022 - Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon is not in favour of the initiative that the EU should stop issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens, telling the Alpbach Forum in Austria on Wednesday that the measure would also hurt those who oppose President Vladimir Putin's policies and would like to leave the country.
"I'm not in favour of limiting tourist visas. Any visa restrictions would also prevent people who oppose Putin's policies and want to leave Russia from leaving the country. I believe that abolishing visas would be a risky move which could boomerang back on us," Fajon was quoted as saying in a press release from her ministry.
The minister took part in a panel debate on the EU's political awakening, which discussed Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the threat of energy and food crisis in Europe.
Fajon again condemned Russia's aggression and appealed for the war to end as soon as possible.
"We need wisdom and long-term political strategy. The current crisis has shown us and the world that the European Union is strong when united. This should be the guiding principle for the continuation of our geopolitical awakening," she was quoted as saying.
The speakers agreed that the EU demonstrated its unity in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the political momentum should be used for long-term geopolitical action.
Slovenia is yet to adopt its position on the proposal to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens. Earlier this month the Foreign Ministry said the country would continue to "look for solutions together with EU member states".
Earlier this week PM Robert Golob said consultations on the matter were under way. "We're still far from a decision, we'll have discussion in the government and on the Foreign Policy Committee, only then will we take a decision," he told a televised interview.
EU foreign ministers are expected to discuss a potential ban on tourist visas for Russians at the informal meeting at end of the month.