In the second week of mobilization in Russia, from September 26 to October 2, 53,000 of its citizens entered the European Union. This is 20% less than a week earlier, informs EU agency for security of external borders (Frontex). The European authorities expect a further decrease in the flow of Russians due to the tightening of the visa policy of European countries and new travel restrictions within Russia itself.
The majority of Russians – 29,000 people – entered the EU through the border of Finland, which remained the only European country bordering Russia with the fewest restrictions after the partial mobilization was announced. Most of the Russians who ended up in European countries have a residence permit or visas of individual European countries or countries of the Schengen agreement. Some have dual citizenship.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine seven months ago, more than 1.356 million Russian citizens have left for the European Union across land borders. More than 1.314 million Russian citizens have returned to Russia across the land border with the EU.
On September 19, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia restricted entry to Russian citizens traveling solely for the purpose of tourism or recreation. Latvia declared a state of emergency in areas bordering Russia on 28 September. Finland closed its borders on September 30 for Russian citizens with tourist visas from Friday.
On the borders with countries that are ready to let in Russians fleeing from the mobilization, the exit is closed from the inside. Yes, September 28 the head of North Ossetia banned Russians from entering Georgia, and behind him in the Astrakhan region the border with Kazakhstan was closed. However, the authorities are not imposing a complete ban: Russians who have accumulated in many kilometers of traffic jams at the border can go for its breakthrough. Frontex representatives say the same thing: according to the agency, the number of illegal border crossings will increase if Moscow decides to close the border to potential recruits.