From midnight local time Finland are to close their border to Russian tourists and the Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told reporters family visits and those who are working or studying will still be allowed.
The decision was justified by the Finnish government saying the those fleeing will endanger the country’s international relations amid Vladimir Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine.
So far almost 190,000 Russians have fled Russia by entering neighbouring countries following Putin’s announcement of a partial mobilisation.
Last week Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin has said her government were assessing the risks posed by Russians travelling through Finland.
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Marin told reporters at the time, “The government’s will is very clear, we believe Russian tourism to Finland must be stopped, as well as transit through Finland.”
Referring to Putin’s speech on Wednesday where he hinted he will use of nuclear weapons Marin added, “I believe the situation needs to be reassessed after yesterday’s news.”
Other EU countries are turning Russians away from their borders, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland along with others have been turning them away since midnight on Monday of last week, and whilst the war is raging in Ukraine they will not be permitted to enter.
The fallout of this will mean those Russian men who are eligible to be called up to fight could end of being arrested by the Russian authorities and will then be thrown in to the war in Ukraine.
Last month the Estonian government decided to restrict the issuance of visas to Russian citizens and their arrival on Schengen visas issued by Estonia.
Estonia warned that all Russian citizens cannot be allowed to continue “living a normal international life” as a result of Putin’s invasion of a friendly sovereign state.
The Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu warned in August that Russian citizens should have no “possibility to keep living a normal international life at the level of its citizens,” and they now will stop issuing work, student and business visas to ALL Russian citizens.
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