The Associated Press
WARSAW, Poland -- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania closed their borders Monday to most Russian citizens in response to the wide domestic support in Russia for the war in Ukraine.
Under the coordinated travel ban, Russians wishing to travel to the Baltic countries as tourists or for business, sports or cultural purposes will not be allowed in even if they hold valid visas for the European Union's checks-free Schengen Area.
The prime ministers of the three Baltic nations and Poland agreed earlier this month to stop admitting Russian citizens, saying the move would protect the security of the four European Union member nations.
"Russia is an unpredictable and aggressive state. Three-quarters of its citizens support the war. It is unacceptable that people who support the war can freely travel around the world, into Lithuania, the EU," Lithuanian Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said Monday.
"Such support for hostilities can pose threats to the security of our country and the EU as a whole," she added.
The ban includes exceptions for humanitarian reasons, family members of EU citizens, Russian dissidents, serving diplomats, transportation employees and Russians with residence permits or long-stay national visas from the 26 Schengen countries.