STOCKHOLM, July 28. /TASS/. The European Union’s rules do not allow a complete ban on the issuance of Schengen visas to Russian nationals, Finland’s Helsingin Sanomat newspaper reported on Thursday, citing a response from the European Commission.
"Visas should always be available to certain categories of applicants. Processing visa applications is the responsibility of [EU] member states who are obliged to make decisions on a case-by-case basis," the newspaper quoted the European Commission as saying.
Brussels reiterated that the EU’s sanctions did not target the average Russian, but declined to answer if the visa issue had been raised when putting together its new restrictions.
Earlier, a number of Finnish parliamentary parties called for suspending the issuance of visas to Russian nationals due to the conflict in Ukraine. However, Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering Tytti Tuppurainen stated that the issue was to be addressed at the EU level.
Finland lifted its coronavirus-related entry restrictions on July 1, 2022. On the same day, the country started to accept visa applications from Russian citizens.