Estonia and Finland want Europe to stop all Russian tourist visas
The leaders of Estonia and Finland want neighboring European countries to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens and say they should not be able to vacation in Europe while the Russian government is waging a war in Ukraine leads.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas tweeted on Tuesday that visiting Europe is a privilege, not a human right, and that it is time to end tourism from Russia now.
A day earlier, her Finnish counterpart, Sanna Marin, told Finnish broadcaster YLE that it was not right for Russians to be able to lead normal lives, travel in Europe and be tourists while Russia is waging an aggressive, brutal war of aggression in Europe. ”
Estonia and Finland both border Russia and are members of the European Union, which banned air travel from Russia after invading Ukraine. But the Russians can still travel to both countries by land, and then apparently take flights to other European destinations.
YLE reported last week that Russian companies have started offering road trips from St. Petersburg to Helsinki and Lappeenranta airports in Finland, which have direct connections to several locations in Europe. Russia’s second largest city is about 300 kilometers from the Finnish capital.
Visas issued by Finland are valid in most European travel zones known as the Schengen Area, which consists of 26 countries: 22 EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Normally, people and goods move freely between these countries without border controls.
Some EU countries no longer issue visas to Russians, including Latvia, which made the move this month because of the war.
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