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Friday, 30 September, 2022

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Finland closes entry to Russians on Schengen visas of any country


Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto announced that Finland is banning Russian citizens from entering the country on tourist visas for both stay and transit. This will apply to Russians with Schengen visas of any country. The restrictions will come into effect in the coming days, possibly early next week. According to Haavisto, Russian citizens will be able to enter Finland only for family reasons, to study or work. Also, according to RBC, the restrictions will not yet affect the owners of real estate in Finland, if it is jointly owned with Finnish citizens. Haavisto stressed that Finland will not grant political asylum to Russian citizens who avoid military service. Finnish President Saule Ninnisto, who is now in Washington, confirmed that his country intends to minimize the entry of tourists from Russia. He mentioned that recently there has been a sharp increase in the flow of transit passengers who traveled through Finland to other countries, since due to the sanctions imposed on Russia, most other exit routes from Russia have become inaccessible. According to Finnish officials, such a measure does not contradict the rules of the Schengen Agreement: it says that Schengen countries can deny entry to third-country nationals if it could harm national security. Finland was the last EU country bordering Russia that did not ban Russian Schengen visa holders from entering. The Baltic countries and Poland closed their borders to Russian tourists earlier. On September 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization in Russia to replenish the armed forces fighting in Ukraine. After that, on the land borders of Russia, including on the border with Finland, many hours of queues of those wishing to leave the country lined up.

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