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Tourists to have only 20% of time slots at Finnish visa centers from September 1 — embassy

From September 1, 500 time slots per day will be available

MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. A total of 500 time slots a day for visa applications will be available at the Finnish visa centers in Russia from September 1, of which only 20% will be set aside for tourist purposes, the Finnish Embassy told TASS on Wednesday.

"From September 1, 500 time slots per day will be available. Twenty percent of them will be for tourist visas and 80% - for visas for other reasons," it said. If necessary, the quotas can be changed to ensure the functionality of the system and prevent misuse, the embassy pointed out.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said earlier in an interview with the Washington Post that Western countries should ban entry to all Russians. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, in turn, called on EU countries to ban the issuance of tourist visas to Russian nationals. According to her, visiting Europe is a privilege and not a human right. The Finnish Foreign Ministry stated that the country could introduce restrictions if a large number of Russians sought to travel to other European countries using visas issued by Finland.

The entry restrictions, imposed in connection with the coronavirus pandemic were lifted in Finland starting from July 1, 2022. On the same day, Finland began to accept applications for visas from Russian citizens. According to the Finnish border service, over 236,000 travelers from Russia crossed the border last month.