August 16, 2022 10:07 GMT
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Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto has confirmed that the gov't of PM Saana Marin has agreed to limit visas to Russian citizens to 10% of the current amount in an effort to limit the ability of Russians to visit the country as tourists.
- Finland becomes the first EU country to engage in limiting visas, after much speculation on the issue in recent weeks. There has been a lack of unity on the prospect of visa limits, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stating yesterday that the violence in Ukraine is 'Putin's war, not Russian citizens."
- Efforts to deny Russian citizens attempts to holiday or conduct business in Europe remains controversial, with hardliners stating Russian citizens should not be able to vacation in EU while its nation is engaged in the war in Ukraine.
- The gov't has confirmed that a 'humanitarian visa' will be issued to allow political activists and journalists to gain access to Finland more easily.
- Helsingin Sanomat reports that around 1,000 visa applications from Russia are received per day in Finland.
- HS also reports that Italy, Spain, and Greece currently issue the most Schengen visas to Russian citizens at present. Finnish, as well as Baltic gov'ts, looking to raise the issue at the next EU foreign affairs Council meeting.