Ukraine to EU: Ask Russians if they support war in visa application

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Countries around the world should ask every Russian national applying for a visa whether they support the war in Ukraine, Kyiv’s special envoy on sanctions told POLITICO.

“We insist that those Russians who support this genocidal war — and different polls show that over 80 percent of Russians still support the war — they should not get access to the free world,” sanctions envoy Oleksii Makeiev said in an interview. He suggested introducing “special treatment” for Russians.

That special treatment would come in the form of a mandatory new questionnaire for Russian citizens when applying for a visa to go to, say, France or Germany.

Those questions should include, for example, whether the applicant supports Russia’s war, and whether the person or their relatives committed war crimes, Makeiev said. Others could include whether the applicant felt responsible, or partially responsible, for the war.

The rationale behind this, he said, would be to make Russians think critically about President Vladimir Putin’s acts and put pressure on the government.

“At the end of the day, we must tell to the Russian population that they have their own partial responsibility for what their government is doing,” he said.

“I think that would slowly influence in a way that the Russian population wakes up and start thinking in terms of being responsible and urging their own government to change policy.”