US rejects Volodymyr Zelensky’s request to impose a blanket visa ban on Russians
The United States has rejected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s request to impose a blanket visa ban on Russians as conflict continues to rise in Ukraine. While the US has been an ardent supporter of Ukraine during the Russian invasion, the White House has said that a blanket ban will close any opportunity for “dissidents and people vulnerable to human rights abuses”.
Earlier, Zelensky urged the US government to stop any Russian citizen from entering the country by imposing a visa ban. During an interview with the Washington Post, the Ukrainian president said that the Russians need to "live in their own world until they change their philosophy."
He also made a similar request to the countries of the European Union as he said that such a step will stop them from becoming a "supermarket open to anyone with the means to enter”.
However, the White House made it clear on Monday that they will not be imposing any such ban. A spokesperson from the state department said in the official statement that the US has already sanctioned key Kremlin officials and will continue to aid Ukraine in their ongoing struggle.
"The U.S. wouldn’t want to close off pathways to refuge and safety for Russia’s dissidents or others who are vulnerable to human rights abuses," the spokesperson said, according to Reuters.
"We’ve also been clear that it is important to draw a line between the actions of the Russian government and its policies in Ukraine, and the people of Russia," the spokesperson added.