What Explains Western States’ Divergent Stances Over Banning Russian Visas?

The issue is extremely sensitive since it concerns socio-political and strategic issues that prominently affect what each state regards as their national interests.

The subject of fully banning Russian visas has recently come to the fore of Western policymaking. Some Central & Eastern European (CEE) countries like the Baltic States and Poland want to prevent all Russians without exception from ever visiting the West while others like France, Germany, and the US only want to ban so-called “regime supporters”. The issue is extremely sensitive since it concerns socio-political and strategic issues that prominently affect what each state regards as their national interests.

Those CEE countries that want to completely ban all Russians from their respective territories and the West more broadly believe in collectively punishing that population for their government’s decision to launch its ongoing special military operation in Ukraine. What’s ironic about this stance is that they themselves previously claimed to have experienced their own so-called “collective punishment” at the hands of the erstwhile USSR, which makes it extremely hypocritical for them to inflict this on Russians.

Those Western countries that are against completely banning Russians haven’t ever experienced what their counterparts regard as “collective punishment” by the erstwhile USSR. Furthermore, they’re also much more economically dynamic and innovative, each having very proud track records of supporting immigration unlike the CEE states. For these reasons, they hope to appeal to so-called “dissident Russians” in order to encourage them to emigrate, which is basically encouraging “brain drain”.

The Baltic States and Poland have such a pathological hatred of Russians due to the “negative nationalism” that’s taken over their societies in recent years that they’re unilaterally abandoning any “brain drain” schemes since they’d rather not have any of those people in their countries. Their Western counterparts, meanwhile, understand the strategic utility of encouraging educated Russians to emigrate from their homeland en masse with promises of so-called “political freedom” and financial rewards.

It’s at this point that some words should be said about the targeted audience in that newly restored world power. Everyone in Russia has the right to leave if they want to, but some of those who do so for subjective “political reasons” don’t realize what they’re getting into right away. More often than not, they’re enticed by manipulative messaging from hostile forces abroad who intend to exploit them as comparatively cheaper labor and/or symbolic trophies to show off to the international community.

Simply put, these “dissident Russians” are crudely objectified and subsequently taken advantage of, with only a miniscule amount of them ever receiving the tangible benefits that they naively expected when they emigrated in the first place. For every Kamil Galeev, who’s a well-known US Government-financed agent of influence that’s also infamous for the treasonous and pro-terrorist Twitter thread that he published last spring, there are thousands of random Ivans and Svetas who thanklessly toil in obscurity.

Looking forward, the subject of fully banning Russian visas to Western countries will remain sensitive owing to those states’ divergent interests with respect to the CEE ones’ literally fascist hatred of those people and their Western counterparts’ strategic scheme to encourage “brain drain” from Russia. So-called “dissident Russians” will likely continue emigrating, but the vast majority of them are expected to continue being ruthlessly exploited even if they’re too brainwashed by Western soft power to realize it.

By Andrew Korybko
Source: OneWorld

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