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Russian arrivals in EU drop 20 percent: border agency

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The number of Russian citizens entering the European Union last week was 20 percent lower than the previous week after EU countries imposed new restrictions, the bloc’s border protection agency said on Tuesday.

The agency said in a statement that nearly 53,000 Russian citizens had entered the bloc between September 26 and October 2.

The highest number — 29,000 — came through Finland, followed by Estonia (8,877) and 8,536 who crossed into Poland from Ukraine.

“The arrival of Russian citizens in the EU will be likely limited both on the EU side by a stricter visa policy, as well as on measures taken by Russia to deter men of draft age from leaving the country,” the Frontex agency said.

Poland and the Baltic states have imposed even stricter visa and residence permit policies to limit arrivals of Russian citizens as part of sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Frontex estimates that illegal border crossings are likely to increase if the Russian Federation decides to close the border for potential conscripts,” it said.

The Kremlin’s mobilisation announced on September 21 has led to some protests and an exodus of men of military age — with tens of thousands fleeing the draft, mainly to ex-Soviet neighbours.

Kazakhstan said Tuesday more than 200,000 Russians had crossed into the country in two weeks.

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AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French state-owned international news agency based in Paris. It is the world's oldest news agency, having been founded in 1835 as Havas.




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