Foreign minister Pekka Haavisto has announced, Finland’s borders will be closed to Russian tourists.
Haavisto said “The aim of the resolution is to halt Russian tourism into Finland and transit through Finland to other Schengen countries. In the resolution the government notes that the entry of Russian citizens in tourist purposes into Finland endangers Finland’s international relations.”
The closure shuts off the last remaining direct land route to the European Union for thousands of Russians seeking to avoid conscription into the war in Ukraine.
The Finnish government said the move will lead to a significant drop in cross-border traffic.
That after almost 17,000 Russians crossed the border into Finland during the weekend – an almost 80% rise on the number the week prior.
With the decision, Finland joined the other EU member countries sharing land borders with Russia which had already barred Russian tourists.
Its government had been wary of being a transit nation into western Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone.