Porsche, Bentley and other luxury cars with Russian license plates filled the parking lot at Helsinki Airport. Russians fly from the capital of Finland to Europe.
The European Union closed the airspace of Russian planes after Moscow attacked Ukraine. This does not mean that Russians cannot travel to Europe – they just have to overcome some inconveniences.
For example, they can fly to neighboring Finland and go on vacation from its airport.
And that seems to be what they’re doing, as evidenced by photos from the Helsinki Airport parking lot. c.It’s packed with dozens if not hundreds of Mercedes, Porsche, Audi and other luxury brands – all with Russian license plates.
Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto admits this Finland has become a “transit country” for Russian tourists. Travelers from Russia head to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport for travel.
It was announced last week that the issuance of tourist visas to Russians would be limited to 10 percent. current scale. About 100 applications will be accepted per day. Today, Finnish consulates in Russia receive about 1,000 applications per day. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the number was between 3 and 6 thousand.
Haavisto stressed that there is a need for a common EU solution regarding visas for Russians. According to the Finnish border guard, it appears that 2/3 of Russians enter this country on the basis of a Schengen visa issued by another country. The most common are tourist visas issued by Hungary, Spain, Italy, Austria and Greece. On visas granted by these countries, Russians travel through Finland to Europe.
Poland has not issued tourist visas to Russian citizens for several months. It is awarded only to Russians who, due to their work, have to cross the Polish-Russian border, incl. Truck drivers and diplomats as well as persons with a Polish card and family members of citizens of Poland and other EU countries.
Poland wants to implement a restrictive policy to stop issuing tourist visas to Russians at the EU level.
German Chancellor Olaf Schulz opposes such restrictions. According to him, “This is Putin’s war, not the war of Russian citizens.”
Meanwhile, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas believes that Tourism is a privilege and therefore a visa ban has been imposed on Russians without waiting for the EU’s decision.
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