30 May 2023 19:45

Russia scales down mutual consular presence with Finland - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. May 30 (Interfax) - Finnish Ambassador to Russia Antti Helantera has been informed of Russia's decision to reduce the consular presence in each other's countries, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

"On May 30, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassador of Finland in Moscow, Antti Helantera, and informed him that the Russian side had decided to close its embassy's Lappeenranta office from July 1. Simultaneously, the Finnish side was informed of [Russia's decision] to withdraw its consent to the operation of the Petrozavodsk and Murmansk offices of the Finnish Consulate General in St. Petersburg, which have functioned since the early 1990s, from the same date," the ministry's website said.

Given the circumstances, "including the Finnish authorities' ban on [Russian citizens'] entry to the country with Schengen tourist visas and suspension in processing them from the fall of 2022, the Russian side has at this stage decided to reduce its mutual consular presence with Finland, because it does not correspond to the current level of Russia-Finland relations," it said.

"The responsibility for the resulting situation lies fully with the Finnish side," the Russian ministry said.