Estonian case highlights issue of EU bans on Russian academics, celebrities
Rahvusvahelised uudised 22 Nov 2014  EWR
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A Russian scholar is suing the Estonian Interior Ministry for barring him from the country, TASS reports.

Ethnologist and historian Valery Tishkov’s is the most prominent name in a growing list of Russians, mostly academics and entertainers, who have been denied entry into a number of European Union countries in recent weeks, often with no explanation.

Tishkov was denied entry when he landed at the Tallinn airport 12 October to attend an event organized by a press club, TASS reports. He returned to Russia the next day after staying overnight in an airport transit zone and said he was not told why he was denied entry despite having a valid Schengen visa. He brought his case in a court in Tallinn.

Tishkov is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a noted scholar of Chechnya.

The list of Russians stopped from entering one of the Baltic countries includes Vladimir Zharikhin of the Commonwealth of Independent States Institute, political scientist Sergey Mikheyev, and controversial historian Alexander Dyukov, Vestnik Kavkaza reported in October.

Mikheyev, a member of Vestnik Kavkaza’s editorial board, was apparently put on an EU-wide blacklist at Lithuania’s request, the Moscow-based site reported.

In October Latvia banned outspoken Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin for his anti-gay views, and earlier denied entry to pop stars Iosif Kobzon, Oleg Gazmanov, and Valeriya for “words and actions” tending to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

A recent ban on entering Lithuania was not the first run-in with Baltic authorities for Dyukov, of Russia’s Historical Memory Foundation. In 2012 he and fellow foundation member Vladimir Simindey organized an exhibition on the mistreatment of Russian children in wartime concentration camps in Latvia but were turned back when they tried to enter the country.
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