Finland allowed the creation of a humanitarian visa for Russians
The country is discussing the introduction of a new type of humanitarian visa. Earlier, the authorities decided to limit the acceptance of applications from Russians for visas to one tenth of the current number media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >
Finnish authorities are discussing the creation of a new type of visa— humanitarian— for the entry, for example, of journalists and civil activists in the context of changes in visa rules for Russian citizens, Yle reports, citing Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto.
According to the publication, the innovation is being discussed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Yle notes that while the country does not have this type of visa, but many other states provide it.
Also on Tuesday, Haavisto said that Finland would reduce the number of tourist visas issued to Russians to 10% of the current level. Yle writes that about 1,000 Finnish visa applications are now submitted daily. These changes are expected to take effect in early September.
According to the Foreign Minister, when deciding whether to issue an entry permit, priority will be given to those who apply for a visa for family reasons, as well as for work and study.
One way to reduce the flow of visa applications could be to limit the time it takes to receive them, Haavisto said last week. “In fact, this may mean that on Monday you can apply for a tourist visa, and from Tuesday to Friday— for a visa for family reasons, study, work or other good reasons, & mdash; he explained.
European countries began to actively discuss visa restrictions for Russians in August. Some stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens, for example, the Czech Republic stopped issuing tourist visas and residence permits at the end of February, and later extended the ban until the end of March 2023, and Latvia stopped accepting applications for an indefinite period.
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Against this background, calls began to be made to limit the issuance of Schengen visas to Russians at the EU level. However, the European Commission explained that the EU visa code does not contain the possibility to stop issuing short-term visas, including to Russian citizens.
The Kremlin promised a response “variations” in the event of a decision to stop issuing visas to Russians. “That would be very bad. <…> Still, I would like to hope for the best, at least for a small fraction of the preservation of the sober thinking of our opponents, & mdash; noted the representative of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov.
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