Finland will not cancel tourist visas already issued to Russians, Pekka Haavisto said. He also assured that visa restrictions would not affect applications for entry for study, work and family reasons .jpg 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >
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Finland does not intend to cancel Schengen tourist visas already issued to Russians, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said at a joint press conference with his Estonian counterpart Urmas Reinsalu. The broadcast is available on the YouTube channel of the Finnish diplomatic mission.
“We do not affect the Schengen visas already issued to Russian citizens, they will still be valid,” — said Haavisto, noting that the day before the Finnish government decided to reduce the issuance of tourist visas to Russians by ten times.
The Finnish minister also noted that the issue of making a common decision for the EU countries on issuing visas to Russian tourists will be discussed at the end of August at an informal meeting of European foreign ministers in the Czech Republic. Haavisto stressed that Finland will not restrict the issuance of study and work visas, entry permits to those who have property on Finnish territory, or who enter the country for family reasons.
On August 16, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that from the beginning of September, Helsinki would reduce the number of applications for tourist visas from Russians by ten times. The total number of visa applications registered by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be halved— instead of 1 thousand applications, the agency will accept 500, of which 400 will be given to those who apply for a visa due to family ties, study or work.
At the same time, the Finnish government instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prepare proposals for a national humanitarian visa . Haavisto said that Finland could start issuing such visas to journalists or civil activists.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Finland led the list of countries in terms of the number of Schengen visas issued to Russians and was in the top three most popular destinations for Russian tourists. In 2019, Finnish missions in Russia issued 790,000 visas to Russians. In connection with COVID-19, Russia and Finland closed the border for tourists, however, from June 30, the restrictions ceased to apply from the Finnish side, and from July 15— from Russian. During the first week of July, Russians filed about 2,700 visa applications, despite the absence of air and rail links.
Read on RBC Pro Pro Consumers cut costs. In what niches does it make sense to open a business? What It Leads to Pro Instructions “I Walked Out of My Boss Humiliated”: How to Deal With Toxicity at Work : How Russian Companies Cancel in the WestThe Association of Tour Operators of Russia pointed to the rush demand and noted that the Finnish visa allows Russians to travel to other Schengen countries. The head of the consular service of the Finnish Foreign Ministry, Jussi Tanner, warned that Helsinki would limit “transit tourism” for Russians and will deny those who have used an entry permit to travel to other countries. According to him, the authorities are considering six options for restricting tourism from Russia. Among them are a complete halt in issuing visas, which is prohibited by the laws of the European Union and the rules of the Schengen area, and limiting the number of applications accepted.
In mid-July, the main parliamentary parties in Finland advocated refusing to issue tourist visas to Russians due to hostilities in Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry warned Finnish colleagues about retaliatory measures and possible confrontation in bilateral relations due to discrimination against Russians.
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