Pakruojis Manor, a popular tourist attraction in the north of Lithuania, has implemented a ban on Russian citizens to its site. Officials are inviting other tourist attractions and hospitality businesses to follow suit.
"I think this sends a very radical message to Russia and its citizens who, after all, are related to the war and come from the aggressor country," explains Giedrius Klimkevicius, director of the tourist mansion Pakruojis.
How do visitors feel about the tourist site's Russian ban?
Visitors to the grand mansion were divided over the decision.
"Russians as people have nothing to do with this. I think this kind of politics has more to do with the authorities. I have nothing against the Russian people," says one Lithuanian woman.
Almost six months after Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, the conflict has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions of people.
"These atrocities are perpetrated by the whole state, and inviting Russian tourists is like participating in these crimes," argues another Lithuanian interviewee.
As EU countries debate whether to ban Russian tourists from visiting the bloc, the move demonstrates how individual attractions can take their own stand on the matter. So far, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania and Poland have taken steps to reduce Russian tourism, with Denmark poised to follow suit.
Are all Russians banned from visiting the Lithuanian mansion?
The measure does not affect all Russian citizens. Those who can prove that they are fleeing political persecution in Russia or that they are legal residents of Lithuania are still admitted to Pakruojis Manor.
So far only a few Russian families have been denied entry.
What is Pakruojis Manor?
Pakruojis Manor is a 19th-century former residential mansion located close to the city of Pakruojis, Lithuania, on the bank of the Kruoja River.
It is now a popular tourist attraction with a hotel and restaurant surrounded by hiking routes and a fishing pond.