The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is limiting the number of visa application appointments available in Russia each day to half of normal. The government decided to restrict tourism from Russia in mid-August.

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (the Greens). Archive photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY

On Thursday, September 1, the number of visa applications available in Russia to enter Finland will be limited to 500 a day, the Finnish Foreign Ministry noted in a statement.

The number will be reduced to half of the current amount.

In addition, the Foreign Ministry is setting quotas for visa application appointments; 20% of all appointments will be reserved for tourists and 80% for people traveling for reasons other than tourism. According to the ministry, other reasons include family ties, work and study.

“This means that there will be an average of 100 appointments per day available for people applying for a visa for tourism, which is ten percent of the current number,” the ministry noted. “There will be an average of 400 appointments per day available for people applying for a visa for reasons other than tourism. The quotas will be changed if necessary to ensure the functioning of the system and prevent abuse.”

The ministry added that “Finland also supports efforts to reach a common EU policy with respect to the restriction of visas for Russians. Finland is in favor of the complete suspension of the visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Russia.” This would increase the visa application fee from €35 to €80.

The reason for visa limitations is rooted in Putin’s war in Ukraine. Earlier, Prime Minister Sanna Marin (the SDP) said that it’s not right that Russians can enjoy their vacations in EU countries while Russia is pursuing a war of aggression in Ukraine.