Russia Bans Baltic Leaders: Prime Ministers Among 347 Banned by Russia

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.13 - 2024 11:42 AM CET

Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons
Kaja Kallas and Evika Silina are among the banned persons.

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The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has escalated its stance against the Baltic states by imposing a ban on numerous prominent politicians from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania from entering Russia. This measure, as reported by the BNS news agency, comes in response to what Russia describes as a "hostile policy" by these nations, including sanctions advocacy, interference in internal affairs, and actions deemed by Moscow as persecutory towards the Russian-speaking population within their borders.

Among those named in this significant diplomatic move are Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Latvia's Prime Minister Evika Silina, highlighting the ban's reach to the highest levels of political leadership in the Baltic region. A total of 347 individuals from these countries find themselves on the blacklist, although the Russian Foreign Ministry has chosen to publicly identify only those it considers the most antagonistic towards Russia.

The ministry's statement outlines a litany of grievances leading to this decision, accusing the Baltic states of engaging in activities such as the mass demolition of monuments to Soviet soldiers, historical revisionism, the glorification of Nazism, and the provision of military support to Ukraine. Such actions, according to the ministry, necessitate the barring of these "participants" from Russian territory.

Estonia's list includes figures such as former president Kersti Kaljulaid, Minister of Justice Kalle Laanet, Speaker of Parliament Lauri Hussar, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna. From Latvia, aside from Prime Minister Silina, the list names former presidents Vaira Vike-Freiberga and Egils Levits, Minister of Foreign Affairs Krisjanis Karinsz, Minister of Interior Rihards Kozlovskis, and Minister of Defense Andris Spruds as unwelcome in Russia.

Lithuania's delegation to this unwelcome list comprises Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mantas Adomenas, Minister of Justice Ewelina Dobrowolska, Minister of Finance Gintare Skaiste, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Lanbdsbergis, indicating a broad sweep across the governmental structures of these NATO and EU member states.

This development marks a significant intensification in the already strained relations between Russia and the Baltic states, reflecting the deep divisions and geopolitical tensions that continue to characterize Eastern Europe's security landscape.

Yesterday, Ukrainian President Zelensky spoke to French TV, expressing his fear that the Baltic countries might be the next targets for Putin's aggression. You can read more about it below.

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