Finland planning to tighten visa rules for Russian citizens

Pekka Haavisto.
Pekka Haavisto. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Finnish government plans to review its policy on granting tourist visas to Russian nationals, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto said on Thursday.

The ministry is preparing new measures which will be discussed at a scheduled meeting of EU foreign ministers at the end of the month, public broadcaster Yle reported.

Haavisto said the new rules must be in sync with other Schengen countries.

"It is not enough for Finland to make such a decision [independently], we need to have the same rules throughout the Schengen area," he told Yle on Thursday.

There has been an increase in Russians traveling to Finland and the EU, and applying for tourist visas, after Russia lifted its coronavirus restrictions last month.

Estonia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) has called for a Schengen visa ban to be introduced. Estonia has already canceled residents permits and study visas for Russians who want to study in Estonia

"With this amendment, we will eliminate scenarios where a short-term Schengen visa is applied for, for tourism purposes, for example, from another member state in order to bypass the current sanction," he said last month.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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