PM Sanna Marin wants to stop tourism and transit through Finland
Visits by Russians to the European Union must end, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin told reporters on Thursday, saying her government was considering the security implications of Moscow’s recently announced partial mobilization.
“The will of the government is very clear. In our opinion, it is necessary to end travel, tourism and transit through Finland in Russia,” he added. Marin said.
She added that Finland should act in accordance with the Schengen rules, but also take into account the “security risks” associated with certain travellers. “Other countries, for example the Baltic States and Poland, have used this risk and this security threat as a basis to prevent people from entering, but of course we need an assessment of this by our own authorities,” he added. Said Marin.
The Prime Minister’s comments come after Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told reporters on Wednesday that Finland “does not want to be a transit country, not even for [holders of] Schengen visas issued by other nations.
The Finnish Foreign Ministry is reportedly working on a solution to help limit the traffic of Russian tourists through the country or even “Stop it completely.”
The Finnish authorities have repeatedly stated that the freedom to travel within the country and to the rest of Europe is not an intrinsic human right but a “privilege,” what they claim Russian citizens do not deserve in light of the ongoing military conflict between Moscow and Kyiv.
Russians cannot continue to vacation in Europe as usual when their nation is “make war” Haavisto insisted.
Finland already has a mechanism in place that allows it to deny visas to Russians and bar entry to those who already have them. Helsinki also asked Brussels to allow EU countries denying Russians entry to place them on a Schengen entry ban list and prevent them from entering the bloc via other member states. .
Earlier this month, the EU suspended a visa facilitation deal with Russia. Some member states have also stopped issuing tourist and business visas to Russian citizens, while three Baltic states and Poland have closed their borders to all Russians, even those with valid Schengen visas.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres questioned EU visa restrictions against Russians, noting that the move “may not be a good idea” as reported by RIA Novosti.