Nearly 1 million Russian citizens have entered the European Union in the six months since their country invaded Ukraine, the EU’s border agency Frontex said Thursday.
A total of 998,085 Russian passport holders have entered the EU from the day of the invasion on Feb. 24 through Aug. 22, a Frontex spokesperson told Germany’s DPA news agency.
Meanwhile, some 7.7 million Ukrainian citizens have entered to the EU and 4.7 million returned to their homeland since the Russian invasion, Frontex said earlier this month.
The figures come as the EU debates a visa ban for Russian tourists that has been publicly backed by Finland, the Czech Republic and Estonia.
Latvia, Lithuania and Poland stoped issuing new tourist visas to Russians in the wake of the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. While Estonia has barred entry to Russians with existing visas and Finland vowed to cut the number of processed Russian tourist visa applications by 90% starting Sept. 1.
In a compromise, the Czech government is reportedly expected to propose imposing higher costs and processing times for Russians’ and Belarusians’ short-term entry visas at an EU meeting next week.
The European Commission has said Russian visa applications should be assessed individually.