Finland will prepare a “national solution” to limit or even prevent the passage of Russian tourists through its territory, its foreign minister announced on Wednesday.
The Nordic country cut the number of visas granted to Russians by a tenth in September in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but it is currently the only member of the EU whose citizens border Russia to allow entry. Russians with Schengen visas .
In this regard, the Finnish government “decided to prepare a national solution to limit or completely stop this traffic of Russian tourists”, said Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto.
The measures “could include new legislation, adopted very quickly, or interpretation of existing law”, he added.
“Finland does not want to be a transit country for Schengen visas issued by other countries. We intend to control this traffic”, the minister said.
Helsinki is calling for a coherent European decision, but “it is not certain that it will happen quickly”, Havisto stressed.
According to a poll published Wednesday by Ilta-Sanomat newspaper, around 70% of Finns want to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens.
A Finnish border guard said traffic on the border was “normal” after Vladimir Putin announced that hundreds of thousands of reservists would be mobilized to resume the Russian offensive in Ukraine.
The situation “has not changed significantly”, the unit wrote on Twitter, denying rumors circulating on the Internet about queues stretching several kilometers long to enter the country.