The head of the consular department of the Finnish Foreign Ministry, Jussi Tanner, proposed six options for limiting tourism from Russia. This was announced on July 28 by the Finnish public broadcasting corporation YLE.
The first option is called the complete cessation of issuing visas for Russians, which is prohibited by EU laws and the rules of the Schengen area.
The second option is to limit the number of accepted applications for a visa, but it is ineffective, since there are only about 100,000 long-term multiple-entry Finnish visas in Russia.
The third is to allow relatives of Finnish residents to enter the country for a good reason – for treatment, funerals and other similar circumstances.
The fourth option is to cancel all issued visas for Russians, which would hardly be legal according to the norms of both Finland itself and the EU.
The fifth option is to close the border to passenger traffic, which is fraught with political consequences due to public outcry and will not be supported by politicians.
The sixth option is a common decision of the European Union, in the line of which Finland declares the direction of its policy.
The day before, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that a possible halt in the issuance of visas by Finland to Russians would be seen as an openly discriminatory political measure.
The day before, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow assesses the possible refusal of Finland to issue tourist visas to Russian citizens extremely negatively. He expressed the hope that in the end such a decision would not be made. Peskov warned that such actions would entail countermeasures and a response.
A day earlier, Acting Prime Minister of Finland, Minister for EU Affairs and State Property Tytti Tuppurainen said that the country’s authorities do not plan to stop issuing visas to Russians. This issue should be resolved at the level of the EU and the Schengen countries, she said. At the same time, some parties in Finland called for the termination of the issuance of tourist visas to Russian citizens.
A number of countries are imposing new sanctions against the Russian Federation in response to a special operation carried out by Moscow since February 24 to protect the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR). Its beginning was preceded by the aggravation of the situation in the region, the appeal of the leadership of the Donbass republics to the Russian Federation with a request for help and the subsequent recognition by Russia of the independence of the DPR and LPR.
Kyiv has been conducting a military operation against the residents of Donbass, who refused to recognize the results of the coup d’état in Ukraine, since 2014.
For more up-to-date videos and details about the situation in Donbass, watch the Izvestia TV channel.