Helsinki – The Finnish government has announced its decision to significantly restrict the entry of Russian citizens into the country.
As of Thursday midnight and until further notice, Russian citizens travelling with tourist visas will be banned from entering or transiting the country, reports Xinhua news agency.
A Foreign Ministry statement noted that the move aims to "completely prevent Russian tourism".
"The reception of visa applications is severely restricted," it added.
Russian citizens can still enter Finland for study, work or medical purposes, and logistics and transport workers are also exempted.
Russian citizens who own property in Finland can also enter the country if they can prove that the visit is essential for maintenance purposes.
The development comes after Finland had earlier pushed for an EU-wide decision, and called for a total ban on Russian nationals travelling to the bloc in the wake of Moscow's continued war against Ukraine.
While the Czech Republic and Estonia have also imposed visa restrictions, Germany and France have rejected the proposed blanket ban fearing "unintended rallying-around-the-flag effects" in Russia.
Read the latest issue of IOL Travel digital magazine here.