Editorial: Finland cannot be a vacation and shopping paradise for Russians, nor a transit country


Closing the border would be a concrete message to Russians about what follows when you support Russia's war of aggression and turn a blind eye to war crimes, writes Iltalehten's Mika Koskinen. -suomi-can't-be-a-holiday-and-shopping-paradise-for-Venaumllaumlist-not-a-transit-country-8680df1.jpg” alt=”Original text: Finland can't be a holiday and shopping paradise for Russians if it isn't a transit country ” />

Russian tourists on a shopping trip in Finland in the summer of 2014. PEKKA KARHUNEN/[email protected] Today at 1:25 p.m.

Russia removed the travel restrictions it imposed due to the corona on July 15. Since then, many Russians have been able to come to Finland with a tourist visa. In addition, Finland is a very important transit country for Russian tourists, because air routes from Russia to Europe have been blocked.

If not, the Russians have seized the opportunity. However, it cannot be the case that at the same time as Russia is destroying Ukraine and indiscriminately killing the country's citizens, Finland allows Russian tourists to travel to our country to relax in the name of vacation and shopping.

The equation is morally completely unsustainable.< /p>

Tytti Tuppurainen, Minister of Europe and Ownership, who acted as Prime Minister Sanna Marin's (sd) deputy last week(sd) told Ilta-Sanom last Sunday that there is no reason for Finland to prohibit issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens. According to Tuppurainen, Finland's line is to support the EU's common sanctions policy and the issue should be aligned at the EU level and between the Schengen countries.

Ukraine is undergoing a huge human tragedy and humanitarian disaster. Criticism towards Tuppurai and Finland's line among citizens has been strong and fully justified.

In hiding behind the backs of the EU and the Schengen countries, you can even sense echoes from the days of Finnishization.

Many other neighboring countries of Russia have stopped accepting visa applications. For example, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania currently do not issue tourist visas to Russians. It must also be Finland's line.

Furthermore, Finland must now do everything to ensure that a joint decision on Russian tourist visas is made at the EU level and between the Schengen countries. However, it is easier said than done. The common sanctions policy has been a rocky path, and now the EU countries are drifting into open conflict because of the European Commission's gas saving plan.

Common decisions in the EU do not come easily, whether it's war or peace.

The sanctions policy of the EU and other countries has not worked as hoped. Russia continues its war of aggression and nothing indicates the end of the war in the near future.

At the personal level, the sanctions have targeted the Russian political and economic elite. However, the sanctions are felt the most in the everyday life of an ordinary Russian, and that's how it should be. The purpose of the sanctions is that they can be seen and felt in the everyday lives of Russians and thus create pressure on the country's leadership.

Closing the border to tourists would be a concrete message for Russians about what follows when you turn a blind eye to war crimes and support Russia war of aggression.

According to various surveys, a large majority of Russians support the war in Ukraine. Although Russia is a country saturated with state propaganda and it is difficult for ordinary citizens to get information from sources other than those controlled by the state, the number can be considered high. The fact that good people have to get out of Russia does not qualify as a justification for issuing visas.

In addition to propaganda, Putin has built a massive apparatus of violence to secure his power. It's still worth remembering that ultimately even a dictator gets his power from the people. There is hardly any change in Russia's military policy if ordinary people do not start visibly opposing the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and the current Russian leadership.


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