Finland asks the EU to introduce common rules on entry bans for Russian citizens

Finland is asking the EU to introduce general rules to ban Russian citizens from entering

< p>The relevant letter of inquiry was presented to the Commission in a letter sent on Tuesday 20 September.

“Finland asks for an official recommendation that all Schengen countries could act in the same way in matters of refusing entry to Russian citizens by canceling existing visas, or denying them entry in accordance with normal Schengen practice,” — according to a Finnish government press release.

According to a press release, the Finnish authorities demand that the Commission allow member states to either cancel the visas of Russian citizens who have been refused at least one of the Schengen borders, or add them to the Schengen Information System (SIS) as prohibited persons.

Finland's Foreign Minister, at a meeting of the EU Foreign Ministry on September 19, proposed to include tourist visas in the scope of EU sanctions.

“Finland considers it important to take steps to achieve the EU's common line on Russia's visa restrictions” , — noted in the press release.

On September 9, the Council of the European Union decided to completely suspend the visa facilitation agreement with Russia, which had been in force since 2007. The move means Russian citizens will now have to pay higher fees to apply for a Schengen visa — from 35 euros to 80 euros, more application documents will be required, waiting times will increase and multiple entry visas will become a thing of the past.

This step was considered insufficient by Poland and the three Baltic countries — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which from Monday, September 19, began to prevent the entry of all Russian tourists into their territory, regardless of whether they have Schengen visas.

Since the ban came into force, dozens of Russian citizens were denied entry to the borders of these countries. With a new proposal, Finland wants to ban all Russians who have been denied entry to these four countries from visiting any other Schengen country.

According to the EU Commission, as of September 1, 2022, there were about 963,000 Russians holding valid Schengen visas.

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