Finnish border closed to Russians with vacationer visas

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Finland’s border with Russia was closed to Russians with vacationer visas Friday, curbing one of many final simply accessible routes to Europe for Russians making an attempt to flee a army mobilization aimed toward bolstering the Kremlin’s struggle in Ukraine.

Lengthy queues have been reported till midnight on the border crossings. Among the many final to enter Finland have been two cyclists who arrived just a little earlier than 11 p.m., Finnish broadcaster YLE reported from Vaalimaa, one of many foremost border crossings between the Nordic nation and Russia. Finland has the longest border with Russia of all European Union member nations.

Aside from the one border crossing between Russia and Norway, Finland had offered the final simply accessible land path to Europe for Russian holders of European Schengen-zone visas.

The federal government justified its resolution by saying that continued arrivals of Russian vacationers in Finland is endangering the nation’s worldwide relations, and cited safety issues associated to Russia’s struggle in Ukraine, the “unlawful” referendums organized by Russia in components of Ukraine and up to date sabotage of the Nord Stream fuel pipelines from Russia below the Baltic Sea.

Russian residents can nonetheless enter Finland for household causes, research or work. Additionally, Russian political dissidents might search to enter for humanitarian functions.

As of Sept. 1, Finland slashed the variety of visas – together with for tourism functions – issued to Russian residents to one-tenth of the standard quantity, in a present of solidarity with Ukraine.

Earlier this week, Finnish border guards stated they need a fence alongside the border with Russia, deeming it “crucial as a result of altering safety setting” within the Nordic nation. Such a fence requires the approval of the Finnish Parliament.

The fence wouldn’t run all the 1,340-kilometer (830-mile) size of the border, however shoudl be in “riskier areas, comparable to border crossings and their close by areas,” the border guards stated.

Norway stated Friday it was contemplating imposing an entry ban for Russians with Schengen visas. The Scandinavian nation has a border within the Arctic with Russia which is 198 kilometers (123 miles) lengthy. The only real crossing level is at Storskog.

“We’ll shut the border rapidly if crucial, and modifications can come at brief discover,” Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl stated.

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