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Poland and Baltic states ban entry for Russians. Katowice 2023 might miss some big names

Poland joined Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in the decision to impose an entry ban on Russian citizens. This might affect the annual IEM Katowice 2023 event. The countries' joint announcement came on Thursday.

It specifically includes sports and business purposes as well as tourist visits. Aside from a few exceptions, such as humanitarian cases, dissidents, having family members, or residency, there is no entry for Russians.

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland have agreed on a common regional approach and hereby express their political will and firm intention to introduce national temporary measures for Russian citizens holding EU visas in order to address imminent public policy and security threats and restrict the entry into the Schengen area for the Russian citizens traveling for tourism, culture, sport and business purposes.

Official joint announcement of Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
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The ban will take place on 19 September. It affects those who already have European visas. Although it doesn't fit the Schengen agreement as it is, its members permitted Baltic states to impose their sanctions. Some other countries, like Finland, held back against a full entry ban so far, as it doesn't legally fit the Schengen agreement.

It is unlikely that these bans will be lifted soon. It means IEM Katowice might miss on several big names next year. Although the list of participants is far from being known, teams like NAVI, G2 Esports, and OG might have to play with a stand-in or two. And, of course, Cloud9, Outsiders, Team Spirit, and the likes will have to completely miss the event.

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