His remarks come in the wake of growing calls from some EU leaders to stop issuing visas to Russian citizens due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Last week, Estonia took the unilateral decision to close its borders to Russian citizens with Schengen visas. Kaja Kallas, the Prime Minister, tweeted: “Stop issuing tourist visas to Russians.
“Visiting #Europe is a privilege, not a human right.”
Politicians from Latvia, Finland and the Czech Republic backed the move and urged Brussels to issue a directive to all EU countries to implement a universal travel ban.
The move elicited a furious response from one of Putin’s attack-dogs, who threatened nuclear armageddon in retaliation.
Vladimir Solovyov, a key cog in Putin’s propaganda machine, warned a universal visa ban may cause Russia to commit a “preventative nuclear strike”.
He wrote on his Telegram channel: “The refusal to issue visas to Russian citizens and the declaration of the Russian Federation as an accomplice of terrorism, puts an end to relations with Europe.
“This means the actual entry into the war with Russia. Severing ties, supplying weapons is direct participation in the war.
“Moreover, in a war with really superior forces, given the number and armament of NATO countries.
“This is a real threat to the existence of Russia and can lead to the use of the doctrine of a preventive nuclear strike.”
Latvia became the first country last week to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.
The move will only increase pressure on the US President Joe Biden to follow suit.
Senators have already threatened to pass a motion on the matter with or without the support of the White House.
The Kremlin hit back over the weekend, warning Washington such a move could become a point of no return and see US-Russian relations deteriorate beyond repair.
Mr Solovyov owns two houses on Lake Como in Italy that are allegedly worth a combined eight million euros.
However, sanctions placed on him have prevented him from travelling to Italy, a fact he lamented publicly on his TV show.
Russian tourists are increasingly complaining about being discriminated against on their travels.
A man visiting Georgia recently posted on his social media that locals had shouted “country of occupiers” at him, and said he was made to feel guilty about the war in Ukraine.
He wrote: “I was in Georgia. It’s a f*k up. Just don’t go there.
“The f*k up starts right at the border, where every car with Russian number plates is targeted by people who shout ‘country of occupiers’.
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“On the streets, it’s also f*ked up. All the walls are covered in anti-Russian graffiti and slogans expressing support for Ukraine.
“You won’t be able to rent accommodation if you have a Russian passport.
“They might not serve you in a cafe. They know Russian but they talk to you on principle in English.
“They curse you for simply being Russian. They make you feel guilty about the war.”
“The Russian tourist added: “I had enough after two days. Just don’t go there if you are Russian.
“Don’t waste your money there. Only go if you come in a tank.”