Finnish Parties Support Suspension of Russian Tourist Visas

The Finnish Parliament discussed imposing rules that would limit the issuance of tourist visas to Russians, on top of sanctions already in place in response to Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

National Coalition, Social Democrats, and Finns Party representatives agreed stricter criteria for issuing visas to Russians should be imposed.

According to reports, the National Coalition Parliamentary Group believes “the current situation facilitates the circumvention and undermines the effectiveness of sanctions imposed on Russia.”

“I’m from Lappeenranta and know that this strict approach would be particularly detrimental economically here in south-eastern Finland. Still, I’m of the opinion that we’re talking about such serious moral and humane issues that this strict approach should be adopted,” Jukka Kopra said, deputy chairperson of the National Coalition Parliamentary Group.

However, Ministry for Foreign Affairs Deputy Director Mikko Kivikoski said earlier that preserving contacts between Finns and Russians could be beneficial.

According to local reports, Finland continues to issue visas as usual despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We’re now receiving about a thousand applications a day from Russia… No political discretion is used on individual applications, however,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General of Consular Services Jussi Tanner said.

Members of the Finns Party also agreed to the suspension of the issuance of visas to Russians.

“I don’t think it’s justified that people from a country that’s waging a ruthless war of aggression are allowed to travel around Europe as if nothing has happened,” the Chairperson of the Finns Party Parliamentary Group said.

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