EU Council President Charles Michel has called on the bloc to “quickly cooperate” amid the partial mobilization in Russia © Leon Neal/Getty Images

The European Union should welcome Russians who are fleeing the country “because of their political opinions,” EU Council President Charles Michel said on Friday.

In an interview with Politico, Michel explained that the bloc should show “openness to those who don’t want to be instrumentalized by the Kremlin.” His remarks came two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of reservists – a move that, in Michel’s opinion, changes the dynamic of the Ukrainian conflict.

“In principle I think that … the European Union [should] host those who are in danger because of their political opinions. If in Russia people are in danger because of their political opinions, because they do not follow this crazy Kremlin decision to launch this war in Ukraine, we must take this into consideration,” the EU official said.

He added that in the current circumstances EU members should act swiftly.

“I agree on the idea that we should very quickly cooperate and coordinate because this is a new fact – this partial mobilization,” Michel explained.

Meanwhile, several EU countries have already demonstrated the completely opposite approach. On Friday, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto announced a ban on entry for Russians with Schengen tourist visas. Helsinki’s decision followed a sharp increase in the flow of Russian citizens to Finland.

EU member pledges to continue welcoming Russians EU member pledges to continue welcoming Russians

On Wednesday, the day when Putin made his bombshell announcement, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said that his country would not issue humanitarian or other types of visas to those Russian nationals who are trying to escape mobilization.

The next day, he explained his stance by claiming that many of these Russians “were fine with killing Ukrainians.” Therefore, Rinkevics argued, “there are considerable security risks {in} admitting them.”

Fellow Baltic countries Estonia and Lithuania made similar statements.

Meanwhile, Germany’s Justice Minister Marco Buschmann made it clear that “anyone who hates Putin’s path and loves liberal democracy is warmly welcomed in Germany.”

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Friday that his country would also continue issuing Schengen visas to Russians. (RT)