Finland names six options for restricting Russian tourism

Options include stopping visa processing, closing borders for passenger traffic, as well as following EU policy and harmonizing measures already at a general level. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned that it would respond to Finland in case of refusal to issue visas max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Finnish authorities are considering six options for restricting tourism from Russia against the backdrop of a special operation in Ukraine, with reference to the head of the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jussi Tanner, Yle TV channel reported.

We are talking about the following options:

  • complete cessation of issuance of visas for Russians. However, as Yle points out, this is prohibited by EU laws and Schengen regulations;
  • limiting the number of visa applications accepted. This option is easy to implement, but ineffective, since about 100,000 Russians already have valid tourist visas that will allow them to visit the country for several more years, the article says;
  • allow entry to the country only for a good reason— to visit close relatives, receive treatment, attend funerals and other important circumstances;
  • cancel visas issued to Russians. However, this measure is also unlikely to be legal under the norms of both Finland itself and the European Union, writes Yle;
  • closing the border for passenger traffic. The authors of the article believe that this is “the only right way”, however, it is fraught with political consequences due to public protests and may not be supported by politicians.

The sixth option, which is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Finland,— it is to follow EU policy. “This issue [issuance of tourist visas in Russia] should be coordinated at the level of the EU and the Schengen countries,” — noted earlier and.about. Prime Minister of Finland, Minister for EU Affairs and State Property Tytti Tuppurainen (Prime Minister Sanna Marin is on vacation).

The issue of stopping the issuance of tourist visas to Russians this week was raised by the main political parties of the Finnish Parliament— The Social Democratic and Coalition parties, as well as the “True Finns” and “Finland Centre”. “Russian shopping and holidays in Finland and through Finland in Europe rightly infuriate many. Suspension of tourist visas would be a justified measure, as Estonia did earlier,— said the head of the “True Finns” Riikka Purra.

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The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that if Finland refuses to issue Schengen tourist visas Russians, Moscow will retaliate. Such a step, caused by “political motives”, will lead “to aggravate confrontation in bilateral relations,” said the representative of the department, Maria Zakharova.

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