Attempts to get out of the country by Russians under military obligation can be seen in visa applications, and the phenomenon will continue to grow; however, granting a visa in such a situation does not depend on good will – said Jussi Tanner, the head of the consular department at the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.
If the visa application shows that someone is trying to leave Russia and the conditions for return are not met, the visa will not be granted, Tanner said in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat, commenting on Wednesday’s announcement of partial mobilization in Russia. Even if it might seem – he explained – that the flight from being drafted into the Russian army, from the point of view of the war in Ukraine, is a positive phenomenon, the granting of a visa is a legal issue and not a result of “good will”
The Finnish border guard is also prepared for more traffic on the Russian border, pointed out “HS”.
Queues of Russians can be seen in the images transmitted from the webcam at the Virolahti Vaalimaa border crossing.
The capital’s newspaper also referred to the fact that Currently, Finland is considered to be the only EU country neighboring Russia that allows entry by Russianswhile Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland are to refuse them entry from the beginning of the week, citing “security threats”. The Finnish authorities did not accept such a line, considering it incompatible with current regulations and agreements.
Tanner noted that there was a misconception in the media of borderline solutions. “Also there (in the Baltic states) the borders have not been closed,” said a high-ranking official, pointing out that many Russians were still arriving there, and only the entry rules had been tightened.
He also noted that currently, on the part of Finland, It is harder for Russians to obtain an EU visa. Since September, Finnish institutions have reduced by 90 percent. the number of accepted applications for tourist visas per day (currently they allow around 100 per day). Officials focus more on matters relating to the issue of family, work and student visas.
As reported on Wednesday by the daily “Iltalehti” in the first two days of stricter regulations on the borders of the Baltic countries, Finnish crossings exceeded a total of approx. 6.5 thousand. Russians, of which approx. 30 percent. on the basis of tourist visas.
The newspaper indicates – citing sources in Finnish services – that from the beginning of the week the Estonian side refused entry to only a few dozen Russians, while several thousand of them come to this Baltic country daily. For this reason, writes “IL”, the restrictions introduced by Estonia will not significantly affect the scale of border traffic.
Finland is in favor of issuing uniform, i.e. at the EU level, guidelines on Schengen visas for Russians, also in terms of their withdrawal, annulment or imposition of an entry ban on a citizen. On Tuesday, she sent an official letter to the European Commission on this matter.