Finland, a country that shares a long border with Russia, is preparing to enact a ban that will prevent or limit Russian tourists from entering their country as a response to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Sharing an 830-mile border with Russia, the country of Finland is set to ban or limit Russian tourists from entering their country. Earlier this month, Finland had already imposed new rules that dramatically reduced the number of Russian border crossings from several thousand to around a hundred or so.
Russians have historically enjoyed easy border access to Finland and often came for a day of shopping or to vacation and even to access the European airport system. However, in the wake of the ongoing war in Ukraine, many Russians have been using border access to buy items that are difficult to find in Russia because of ongoing sanctions. While many have been using it to flee the country.
This hasn’t sat well with many Fins. A recent survey suggests that 70% of Fins want their country to stop issuing visas to Russians.
Despite the earlier September change which limited border crossing visas, lax rules from other European members like Estonia who also participate in the borderless Schengen visa program. As a result, Russians continue to enter Finland.
And it seems that the Finnish government is listening. Beyond the aforementioned reduction in border visas enacted earlier this September, the government has been meeting to discuss a newer, more wide-sweeping solution to drastically limit Russian tourism.
Earlier this week, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told reporters gathered at a press conference, “This national solution may include new legislation, which would be adopted very quickly.”
“Finland does not want to be a country that is a transit country for Schengen visas issued by other countries either,” Haavisto said to reporters.