Finnish PM calls on EU to ban Russian tourism

Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin. Photo via AP

The Finnish prime minister on Monday urged EU countries to impose additional sanctions to restrict Russian tourists’ entry into the Schengen countries.

Speaking to Finnish state broadcaster YLE, Sanna Marin said: “It’s not right that at the same time as Russia is waging an aggressive, brutal war of aggression in Europe, Russians can live a normal life, travel in Europe, be tourists. It’s not right.”

Marin expressed hope that EU countries will take joint a decision on the issue, as it is possible to cross the Finnish border with a visa from any Schengen country.

“I believe that in future European Council meetings, this issue will come up even more strongly. My personal position is that tourism should be restricted,” she said.

The Finnish-Russian border reopened to tourism last month after both countries removed COVID-19 measures.

The EU has slapped six sets of sanctions against Moscow since the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine on Feb. 24.

The packages target, among others, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and include a ban oil and coal imports and exports of luxury goods. Also they exclude Russian and Belarusian banks from using the international SWIFT system.

At least 5,401 civilians have been killed and 7,466 injured since the Russia-Ukraine war began on Feb. 24, according to UN estimates. The true toll is believed to be much higher.

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