Finland to close border to Russian tourists

Finland to close border to Russian tourists
Queus at the border to Finland. Credit: Tuomas Vitikainen / Wikimedia

Finland will close its border to Russian tourists between Thursday and Friday night, reported Helsingin Sanomat on Thursday.

Finland's government will announce the details at a press conference this afternoon at 13:15 local time, with the influx of Russians expected to decrease to half of the current levels.

"The decision in principle to be made means that border traffic will decrease significantly on the eastern border," said Interior Minister Krista Mikkonen (Green) at a government press conference on Wednesday.

Finland intends to significantly limit Russian transit through Finland to the rest of the Schengen area, as well as Russian tourists travelling to Finland. Border control is expected to resemble pandemic entry rules, except restrictions will only apply to Russians.

Finland's border will therefore close to Russian tourists, however, the country is still accessible under special circumstances.

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The move follows an influx of Russians recently crossing the border to Finland, according to the Finnish Border Guard. However, it confirmed that it was monitoring the situation and the number had dropped on Wednesday, although there was more traffic than in recent weeks.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced 'partial mobilisation' last week, Russian men have left the country in droves to flee conscription. Border traffic to neighbouring countries has shot up as have the prices of plane tickets out of Russia.

EU Member States have failed to agree on a common approach to Russians fleeing mobilisation.

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