According to the Foreign Minister, there is still a large amount of tourist traffic through Finland with Schengen visas issued by other countries.
Finland is preparing its own national solution to limit tourist traffic from Russia, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (vihr) told Finnish time on Wednesday evening.
“Finland does not want to be a transit country for Schengen visas issued by other countries. We want to get this traffic under control,” Haavisto said at a news conference for Finnish journalists in New York.
According to him, there is still a lot of tourist traffic through Finland with Schengen visas issued by other countries.
“The fear is that we will remain the only border country through which it is possible to come from Russia to Europe with Schengen visas issued by other countries,” Haavisto stated.
Finland has already significantly limited the number of tourist visas it issues itself in the past. Beginning of September from Finland has accepted only about a hundred tourist visa applications in Russia per day.
However, according to Haavisto, the goal is to further reduce the amount of tourist traffic “radically”. According to the minister, there is no moral basis for Russians to continue their holiday travel to Finland or other EU countries as normal.
The solution may include new legislation or be based on the interpretation of existing regulations.
From the opposition the government has been required to act quickly for a long time.
For example, the chairman of Basic Finns Riikka Purra has demanded that the eastern border be closed and the chairman of the coalition Petteri Orpo ending the issuance of Russian tourist visas.
The Baltic countries and Poland have already taken action. Since the beginning of this week, the countries have prevented short-term Schengen visa holders from entering the countries.
In an interview with HS last week, the Estonian foreign minister assumed that the stricter line will also be visible in Finland.
“Without a doubt, we will see more Russians crossing the border at the Finnish border. It’s about natural logic when the Baltic and Polish borders are closed. People are looking for other ways to cross the land border,” he said.
The European Union has not achieved a unified line on visa restrictions, despite Finland’s requests.
“In this situation, a separate decision would be needed, possibly a sanctions decision, which would affect the situation in Europe as a whole,” Haavisto said.
“This has gone a little slowly. That’s why we make a national solution first.”
According to Haavisto, the decision to proceed right now was influenced by Russia’s announcement of a partial movement proposal. The assumption is that it will be seen as “various efforts to cross the border, for many reasons and with many motives”.
Finland According to Haavisto, it is not necessary to close the border completely. According to him, it is still justified to move across the border, for example to meet relatives, to work or to study.
“Nothing extraordinary happens on Finland’s borders. According to my knowledge, there is no new major movement of, for example, young men who would run away from launching a movement,” Haavisto said.
According to the foreign minister, it is not clear whether those fleeing the army’s campaign could be treated as asylum seekers.
“It is an individual question,” the minister stated.
Thing will be considered by the parliament in due course. Haavisto did not take a position on how long it will take to achieve a national visa solution.
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