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After the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Russian citizens will no longer be able to apply for a Dutch visa, prominent Russian computer scientist Vitálik Buterin warned that innocent citizens could be affected as a result of the move.
Responding to a tweet announcing the news, Buterin called on the Netherlands and countries in Europe to “be careful” about the opportunities they might restrict and said his family had managed to get by on a Western visa.
“22 years ago, one of the Russians getting a Western visa was me, along with my family,” Buterin tweeted. “This gave my dad a chance to start a great business and gave me a chance to grow up without the influence of zombie ideology.”
According to the Netherlands Times, the Netherlands’ decision is not a punishment against Russia, but a consequence of the Russian government’s decision to expel 15 Dutch diplomats from the country amid its invasion of Ukraine, and it is unknown how long the measure will last.
However, as the media outlet clarifies, the Dutch government expelled 17 Russian diplomats at the end of March for acting “secretly” as intelligence agents. The expulsion of the Dutch officials was indeed a punitive measure by Vladimir Putin.
Buterin, a 28-year-old programmer, is one of the minds behind Ethereum and its cryptocurrency, Ether (ETH), and was one of the founders of the online publication dedicated to cryptoassets, Bitcoin Magazine.
The young computer scientist is, today, the world’s youngest crypto billionaire, with an estimated ETH fortune of $1.05 billion.