Finland has decided to develop national measures to prevent Russian tourists from entering the country.
This was announced by Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto at a press conference in New York.
"Today we decided to start preparing a national decision on how we can limit or completely prevent this tourist flow, and this national decision may include new legislation that will be done very quickly, or with the interpretation of existing rules," Haavisto said, adding, that the work has already begun.
According to the minister, Finland does not want to be a transit country and wants to control the traffic of Russian tourists: "We donʼt know who goes there."
Haavisto was asked whether Russian tourists are a security threat. To which he replied: "This was discussed in the EU. Finland has taken the position that the average person traveling for tourism is not a security threat, but there is a moral or ethical principle involved. In this situation, we do not want to receive [Russian] tourists. There is no moral or ethical reason why, while Russia is waging war against Ukraine, Russian vacation trips to Finland or other parts of Europe should continue as usual."
Before that, Finland asked the European Commission to recommend the countries of the bloc to cancel the visas of Russians who were refused entry to the Schengen zone. The decision to cancel a visa or ban entry is reflected in the unified information system of the Schengen zone. Thus, a Russian who was refused entry at the border of one country of the Schengen zone will not be able to enter the EU through another.
- Since September 19, Russian citizens are prohibited from entering Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland with tourist Schengen visas issued in any EU country. They can cross the land border with the EU only in Finland. Exceptions apply only to truck drivers, diplomats and those entering the country for humanitarian reasons.
- On September 9, 2022, the EU approved the cancellation of the simplified visa regime with Russia. Now for Russians, the cost of obtaining a Schengen visa will increase from €35 to €80. Additional documents will be required for submission, and the terms of processing and visa issuance will be extended. The rules for issuing multi-entry visas will be strengthened. In general, Russians will be checked more thoroughly.