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Banning Russian Travelers

European Union ministers met in Prague Tuesday to discuss banning Russian visas.

Germany and France warned the others against cutting off the nose to spite the face, writing in a joint memo: “We caution against far-reaching restrictions on our visa policy, in order to prevent feeding the Russian narrative and trigger unintended rallying-around the flag effects and/or estranging future generations.”

EU leaders did agree to make visas harder for Russians to get, suspending a visa facilitation agreement with the country to make the process longer and more expensive.

Ukraine wants them to go all the way. “Travel to the EU has had zero transformative effect on Russia,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said. “To transform Russia, shut the door on Russian tourists.”

EU defense ministers also took met in Prague Tuesday, agreeing to start work on a mission to train Ukrainian troops. Is it weird that military assistance seems like less of a direct hit to the Russian people than visa bans?

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