On September 29, the Finnish government is scheduled to adopt a principled decision that will significantly reduce the number of Russians traveling to Finland.
This was reported by Helsingin Sanomat newspaper.
According to the newspaper, the new border rules are due to come into force overnight from Thursday to Friday, unless the government changes the previously agreed schedule at its meeting today, which starts at 1pm.
According to preliminary estimates, the arrival of Russians to Finland may decrease to half of the current level, but it is difficult to assess the effect. The effect may be smaller.
The government will announce the decision at a press conference after the meeting of the Government Council at approximately 1:15 p.m.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto, Minister of the Interior Krista Mikkonen and Head of the Border Inspection Unit Tuomas Laosmaa from the Border Guard will speak at the event.
According to the newspaper, the new policy resembles the border practice of the coronavirus era, except that the restrictions on entering the country apply only to Russians and the grounds for denying entry to the country are different.
So basically the border will be closed to Russians, but you can still enter the country for many special reasons. In fact, the border is closed only to tourists.
Special reasons for entering the country were determined more or less in the same way as during the pandemic period. As before, Russians will be able to visit for family reasons. They will also be able to enter Finland to study and perform necessary work. Diplomats are among the special groups. There are other valid reasons on the list. On this basis, for example, representatives of the opposition can enter the country.
An individual approach will be applied to all passengers.
An entry will be made in the passport about the refusal to enter the country and, at its own discretion, the visa will be canceled if the grounds for its validity have expired according to the new regulations.
This means that the visas of Russians who come to Finland as tourists are essentially invalid. In this case, the traveler can no longer enter the territory of the EU, for example, from another country of the Schengen zone with a visa issued by Finland.
Finland was the only EU country through whose land border Russian tourists got to other countries of the Schengen zone. The Baltic countries and Poland blocked the entry of Russian tourists earlier in September.
As reported, during September 19-25, 66 thousand Russians entered the countries of the European Union from Russia, which is 30% more than a week earlier - the surge coincided with the announcement by the Russian authorities of the so-called partial mobilization. It should be noted that the Russian Federation deployed a mobile mobilization point on the border with Finland.