85% of Finns support the suspension of tourist visas for Russian citizens
A recent survey showed that about 85% of Finnish citizens are in favor of suspending tourist visas for Russians.
Besides those who said the country should stop issuing tourist visas to Russians, 80% said Finland should not allow entry to Russian citizens who already hold a visa issued by the Finnish authorities or any other country, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to Finland’s national public broadcaster, Yle, the survey found that only 4% of respondents were against stopping issuing visas to Russians.
The survey, which was conducted by Taloustutkimus and commissioned by the activist group Mothers for Peace, was posted online between September 20 and 22. A total of 1,088 people participated in the survey.
Taking into account the current situation in the region, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto recently said he was disappointed with the way the EU was handling the visa issue and stressed that Finland was urgently seeking a solution to stop issuing tourist visas for Russians.
Haavisto noted that Finland does not want to become a transit country for Russians wishing to reach other European countries. Furthermore, he pointed out that there is no moral or ethical basis for allowing Russian tourism to continue as normal.
While Finland has not yet made a decision on this, the Baltic states and Poland have already stopped issuing visas and banned Russian citizens from entering their territory.
Previously, SchengeeenVisaInfo.com reported that the Finnish authorities have already asked the European Union Commission to issue a joint recommendation for all Schengen Member States on the invalidation of visas issued to Russians and the imposition of entry bans on them.
“Finland requests a recommendation that Schengen countries, when preventing the entry of Russian citizens at their border, simultaneously invalidate or revoke the person’s visa or deny entry, in line with normal Schengen practices,” says the statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Such a request was made to the Commission by letter sent on 20 September.
According to a press release issued by the ministry earlier this week, the Commission has been asked to allow member states to cancel the visas of deported Russians or add them to the Schengen Information System.