16 Aug 2022 16:31

Finland to cut number of tourist visas issued to Russians by 10 times in Sept - Foreign Ministry

BERLIN. Aug 16 (Interfax) - Finland will cut the number of tourist visas issued to Russian citizens by ten times in September, the Yle web portal said with the reference to Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto.

According to the web portal, the Finnish Foreign Ministry has drafted a document, which will prioritize the issuance of visas for family reasons, work, or study. In addition, tourist visa applications will be filed on designated days of the week or on designated hours. Thus, the overall number of visas issued to Russians will be significantly reduced.

"Tourist arrivals in Russia have grown after the coronavirus pandemic, which is happening against the backdrop of our attempts to help Ukrainian refugees. It would be inappropriate for Finland to become a transit point for Russians vacationing in Europe," the portal quoted Haavisto as saying.

He added that Finland supported the suspension of the agreement liberalizing the visa system for Russia and the cost of visa would increase from 35 euros to 80 euros if the agreement is scrapped.

The issuance of special humanitarian visas to Russians is not ruled out, but this issue still needs to be considered, Haavisto said.