Finland will slash the number of visas issued to Russians from Sept. 1, the Finnish foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, amid a rush of Russian tourists certain for Europe.
Finnish land border crossings have remained between the number of entry points into Europe for Russians soon after a string of Western international locations closed their airspace to Russian planes in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
The Finnish govt agreed on Tuesday to curtail their figures, after Russian visitors started applying Finland’s Helsinki-Vantaa airport as a gateway to European vacation destinations adhering to Russia’s lifting of pandemic-linked border limitations a thirty day period in the past.
“And this perhaps is not extremely proper if we, for illustration, feel of the airspace restrictions set in put for Russia,” Overseas Minister Pekka Haavisto instructed reporters right after government talks.
Finland would minimize day by day visa application appointments in Russia from 1,000 to 500 for each working day, with just 100 allocated to holidaymakers, the ministry said.
The range of visas granted was by now significantly lessen than prior to the pandemic and the war. In July, Finland granted just 16,000 visas to Russians, compared with 92,100 for the duration of the same month in 2019, overseas ministry data confirmed.
Finland and the Baltic states would also suggest that the European Union discontinues a visa facilitation settlement with Russia that helps make it less complicated for Russians to travel to and within just the European Union, Haavisto reported.
Some EU leaders, these types of as Finnish Primary Minister Sanna Marin and her Estonian counterpart Kaja Kallas, have termed for an EU-wide visa ban, which German Chancellor Olaf Scholz contested on Monday, stating Russians ought to be in a position to flee their dwelling place if they disagree with the governing administration.
Finland was looking into creating a national humanitarian visa that could be granted to Russians that essential to flee or take a look at Europe for purposes these as journalism or advocacy, Haavisto additional.
According to EU regulations, a tourist ought to implement for a visa from the nation they intend to pay a visit to but can enter the border-examine-free of charge Schengen spot from any position and travel close to it for up to 90 times in a 180-day period.
Oleg Morozov, a Russian member of parliament, reported in an write-up printed by news agency RIA Novosti that Moscow ought to stop letting Finns to vacation to the state other than for points these as professional medical procedure or to attending funerals, declaring Russia could manage with out “cross-border excursions by Finns to purchase petrol”.
This tale has been posted from a wire company feed without the need of modifications to the text. Only the headline has been altered.