Finland wants to tighten visa rules for Russians

The Finnish government wants to tighten visa regulations for people from Russia, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said Thursday, according to a media report.

Russian citizens should no longer be granted tourist visas in the way they are at present, dpa news agency reported, citing Finnish radio station Yle.

The Foreign Ministry in Helsinki is preparing measures to be discussed at a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the end of the month, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told the broadcaster.

It is not enough for Finland to make such a decision on its own, there must be the same guidelines throughout the Schengen area, he said.

Lawmakers across the political spectrum backed the move, according to Yle, in sentiments sparked by Russia’s war neighbouring Ukraine, which began in February.

Finland shares a 1340-km border with Russia, the longest of all the EU states. According to Yle, Russian tourists have so far been able to enter the Schengen area by bus or car across the Finnish border despite Moscow’s attacks.

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