I support this #Schengen 'tourist' #visaban for Russians🇷🇺.

There are good arguments for & against - & neither option is perfect - but deciding between imperfect options is often the essence of politics.

After much careful consideration here's why I support the visa ban🧵
I've worked on borders, visa, migration & mobility issues for the #EU & done a lot of research, policy advice & public engagement work on those topics
- notably in the context of their connections to geopolitics & 🇪🇺 foreign & security policy.
I've esp worked on this re #Ukraine & its relations with the #EU since 2004 - that's what my book (out '23) is about. I'm well aware of how these issues affect belonging (e.g. for 🇺🇦s in Europe), approximation (to EU standards & practices)- & the spread of EU order & values
I've written extensively about these things - especially about the positive, transformative power that being more open & encouraging people-to-people contact can have -
& how the #EU's been at its best when boldest & most open to people who want to integrate with it - like in #Ukraine 🇺🇦 - as that unleashes its true transformative power

& I've been strongly critical of the #EU for maintaining it's lose-lose visa regime with #Ukraine up to 2017 (& was happy to be tangentially involved in the process of visa liberalisation).
-all that's to say that I very much get the issues & costs involved-so why a #visaban? /6
As @kajakallas rightly points out, visiting the #EU is a privilege, not a right, & it is one that we have been very generous with when it comes to Russians over the years -they have consistently been the largest group of visa recipients (e.g 1/4 of total Schengen visas in '21) /7
Yet there is no evidence that all of these visits, this exposure to EU citizens practices, standards & values (however uneven) have had any positive, transformative effect on #Russia.
In fact, things have been getting worse.
Obviously there are many reasons for that, but visas & travel so don't seem to be helping.
This leaves us in the laughable (if it wasn't so sad) situation whereby we are granting one of our greatest privileges (not available to so many ppl around the world) to Russians who /9
seem to be laughing in our faces. Rubbing our noses in the fact that they can afford to travel (& shop) while not having to worry about things like democracy, freedom & human rights. In fact, many of their compatriots have been working in the cracks in our own systems /10
to undermine those values & standards in #EU states. As @MattLightCrim has pointed out - this makes us look weak & gives the impression we're not fully committed to #Ukraine as we still want Russians' cash from tourism. Yes, that looks like a cost .../11

But, like imposing sanctions, bearing it for the right reason makes us look stronger, not weaker.
Like military & humanitarian aid to #Ukraine it's actually an investment - in a 🇺🇦 victory, but also in the resilience & vibrancy of our own democracies.
We fight 🇷🇺 together
As @KaroliinaAinge argues in a super 🧵on this topic, not acting - allowing the majority in #Russia who support their country's war on #Ukraine to continue to enjoy this privilege - is unacceptable. This echoes the argument made by @MarinSanna /13

This won't hinder our transformative power in #Russia because we don't have any, at least not through this channel, as long as Russians continue to support #Putin & overlook the barbarity of his regime (the cost/ benefit constellation of which they mostly appear to want).
For exposure (via travel and P2P contact) to lead to progressive approximation, there has to be desire for change
- not enough Russians have that for this to be a justification to keep issuing visas.

In fact, withdrawing this privilege is one the things /15
We CAN meaningfully do to show 'ordinary' Russians that they too must bear the costs of their (repeatedly) chosen leader's brutality. This is about sticks, not carrots, now.After too long of playing nice its time to increase the squeeze on the dictator & his everyday enablers /16
As @chris_pyak & others have rightly argued it does not become those of us not living under direct threat of persecution to demand overt resistance from those who do face such threats.
But nor can we sit by & allow silence or even content to bolster Putin's aggressive empire /17
This means that🇷🇺s who don't support Putin may leave #Russia.

➡️That's why its essential we keep channels of emigration (not tourism) open.

It won't be possible for everyone, nor is it fair (one of the imperfections), but its a lot less unfair than what 🇺🇦s are facing
Which has been imposed on them by the Putin regime which is supported or at least enabled by the tacit consent of ordinary Russians.

Losing tourism privileges is a relatively small removal of privilege in this context.
- it also shows the choice to be made

EU states should work with Russian civil society in their countries to counter and destabilise the Putin regime (as Russia has been doing to us for years) and should clamp down hard on espionage on & intimidation of dissidents (& anyone else) by RU security services /20
In terms of geopolitics, this would indicate that the #EU is willing to stand up to the bully (more needs to be done as well, but this would be a step in the right direction).
It would also give a bargaining chip to be used as a reward for any future progressive reform in 🇷🇺
It may seem that the EU us betraying its liberal principles in clamping down on migration - but anyone who has followed its record in this field in recent years knows there are no such principles.
We should focus on liberalising mobility for people from countries around /22
the world who are not actively attacking us, slaughtering Ukrainians (or anyone else) & who want to work for a more liberal, more progressive regional & global order.

We need to stop confusing liberal processes with liberal outcomes -and focus firmly & clearly on the latter /23
The liberal outcomes we should be aiming for in this regard are
- a Ukrainian victory
- a more secure & free Europe (incl. Ukraine)
- change in #Russia

all of these are, on balance, served by a #visaban as called for by @kajakallas & @MarinSanna
We need to get on the front /24
foot & make problems for Putin. MT & LT a #Schengen #visaban will be a problem because it will hurt Russians -& they WILL know why (or that they shd find out - & if they want to they can).
It will help undermine Putin & will show our resolve in suport of #Ukraine. /END

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More from @bctallis

Jul 14
Points on #Ukraine, #Germany, the #EU & #NATO.
1. We should not speak of 'solidarity' with Ukraine -it's our fight too: for democracy against autocracy, for freedom against tyranny, for our collective security and for our shared future.
We must consistently talk & act like that.
Points on #Ukraine, #Germany, the #EU & #NATO.
2. We do not provide 'aid' to Ukraine - it is an investment in our security that contributes to defeating #Putin, increasing the pressure for change in #Russia & which should prompt needed reforms in our own societies).
Points on #Ukraine, #Germany, the #EU & #NATO.
3. Explaining to our populations why this is our fight- & that sacrifices will be needed to win -is essential.
Many are willing to make those sacrifices (which they know are nothing compared to those of 🇺🇦) if they see we can WIN.
Read 15 tweets
Jul 3
There's been a lot said about @TimothyDSnyder's devastating takedown of Jurgen #Habermas perspective on #Ukraine & #Russia which is, sadly, representative of a major strand of discourse in #Germany that also impacts 🇩🇪policy & positioning.

I want to highlight a few things 🧵
Snyder's main point, which is spot on, is that #Habermas take is actually not about #Ukraine or really even about #Russia (apart from in a very instrumental way) - its all about #Germany.
This is important because it indicates the level of Onanistic self-obsession that dominates
way too much of the debate here. Ukrainians might be fighting & dying for what should be all of our cause - because they are fighting for all of our freedoms (& security) against an aggressive authoritarian regime - but for too many 'elites' in #Germany, the main issue is Germany
Read 25 tweets
Jun 27
While #Russia slaughters civilians in #Ukraine I hear that some in #Germany including advisors to Chancellor #Scholz are looking for a quick way back to business as usual.
This is totally unacceptable - & needs to be changed ASAP or many more will die 🧵
Ignoring intelligence reports, advisors are apparently briefing that the war will be effectively over by October. That would be convenient for them as it offers a way to go back to business as usual with #Russia & avoids unpopular high fuel costs in winter but it’s dangerous BS
that will sell #Ukraine short & leave us all at risk of #Putin’s next vicious attack. After Plotner’s indication last week that he prioritises relations with #Russia over clear support to #Ukraine, this week advisors are trying to sell a dodgy prognosis on the war.
Read 11 tweets
Jun 22
The thread based on this article went ballistic
- I *suspect* because of #Kraftwerk rather than #IRTheory
BUT there's something more to the piece than just the international politics of #Germany's postwar cultural history.
Short(er) 🧵
Difference has always been at the heart of #InternationalRelations (#IR)
- The very notion of ‘relations’ requires difference between the units doing the relating
- Despite the name, IR focused on states rather than nations as the units that related to each other. Image
These states, seen as clearly distinguishable were often imagined to represent particular nations, which could be seen as different - & neatly, even ‘naturally’ bordered from each other (e.g. Agnew, 1994).
Read 24 tweets
Jun 20
#Germany’s moral authority is currently under extreme duress (to put it mildly).
The role of 🇩🇪 identity & history in its response to #Ukraine has come up again & again.
I have a new piece out that deals with both of these issues (& more)
-A 🧵
The article looks at the thoroughly *international* politics of Germany’s postwar period, from 1945 to the present by looking at the electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk, their mission, context, reception & influence
Kraftwerk are today widely recognised as one of the most influential band’s in music history – but also as being illustrative of & key actors in a moves to create a new and better German identity after the war.
Read 46 tweets
May 23
This thread (pic) gained a lot of traction

But gives a misleading impression (to put it mildly)

Rooted in an outdated view of German identity

That excuses inaction on #Ukraine & makes much needed 🇩🇪change much less likely.
The thread starts from the premise that the main driver of 🇩🇪 policy is a demilitarised, non-aggressive identity that seeks to be a 'force for good'. It understands this as forged in reaction to the Nazi period (seen as a key lens through which #Germany is perceived abroad). 2/
Now, I'm very sympathetic to the idea that national identity matters in (foreign) policy - & that national identity is shaped inter-nationally. In fact I have an academic article about to be published on just that ... focusing on ... #Germany.
Which discusses at length ...
Read 28 tweets

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