Finland will ban the entry and transit of Russians on the Schengen of any country

Finland, following the Baltics, will ban entry and transit to Russians with Schengen visas /v6_top_pics/resized/673xH/media/img/0/39/756639503135390.png 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width : 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

< img class="aligncenter" src="https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/media/img/0/39/756639503135390.png" alt="Finland will ban Russians from entering and transiting the Schengen area of ​​any country" />< /p> Line of cars at the border of Russia and Finland

Finland, following the Baltic countries and Poland, will ban the transit of Russians with Schengen visas, including those obtained in other countries. The ban will be adopted within a few days, now it is formulated in a draft version, said Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto.

“Based on the decision, the authorities will be able to completely stop the movement of tourists [from Russia]. <…> Visas can also be canceled on an individual basis at the Finnish border,— emphasized by Haavisto.

According to him, it will be possible for Russians to come to Finland only for family reasons, to study, work, or if they own real estate (if it is jointly owned). He also pointed out that refusal to perform military service is not sufficient grounds for applying for asylum in Finland.

Since September 19, in response to the ongoing hostilities in Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, bordering with Russia, have also banned entry for Russians even with valid Schengen visas.

Finland remained the last country through which Russian tourists could enter in the EU along the land border: on February 27, the European Union closed its airspace to Russian aircraft.

In addition, the European Union has suspended the visa facilitation with Russia since September 12. Obtaining visas has become longer, more difficult and more expensive. The visa fee has increased from €35 to €80, and the standard time limit for making a decision on Schengen visa applications has increased from ten to 15 days, and in some cases can be extended up to 45 days.

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After the partial mobilization in the country announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Finnish customs recorded a sharp increase in the number of Russians entering: over the past two days, at least 15,832 Russians have passed through three checkpoints on the border with Finland (7,070 on September 21 and 8,762 on September 22 -e).

The number of Russians who crossed the border per day increased by an average of 1.5 times compared to previous days (5436 people on September 14, 5728— September 15, 5435— September 19, 5701— September 20). At the same time, the growth was mainly due to those who traveled to Finland: their number more than doubled, while the number of Russians who crossed the border from Finland remained approximately at the same level these days.

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In mid-September, the Finnish authorities took the initiative to include tourist visas for Russian citizens in the scope of sanctions, and also invited EU members to enter into the Schengen Information System (SIS) information about Russians who were not admitted by any country to the Schengen area

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Finland has reduced the number of tourist visas for Russians

Diplomatic representations of Finland in Russia will consider only 100 applications for tourist visas from all over Russia per day 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

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On September 1, Finland introduced quotas for the number of tourist visas issued to Russians, reducing the total number of permits to enter the country from 1,000 visas per day to 500. This decision was made by the Finnish government on August 16.

Of these a total of 500 visas per day, only 100 will be for tourists. The remaining 400— for those who apply for a visa for other reasons: work, study, family reasons, etc.

Finland in Russia has an embassy in Moscow, a general consulate in St. Petersburg and its branches in Petrozavodsk and Murmansk. In addition, visa applications are accepted at 22 visa centers in Finland.

In 2019, before the pandemic, Finland was the leader in the number of visas issued in Russia last year among the Schengen countries, the Finnish Foreign Ministry reported. In total, this year, Finnish representations in Russia issued 790,000 Schengen visas, which is 18% more than in 2018. At the same time, 83% of all visas issued were issued in St. Petersburg, their number increased by 19% compared to the previous year.

The issue of the possibility of banning or restricting the issuance of visas to Russians in the European Union began to be discussed after Russia opened its land borders in mid-July. At the same time, Russia does not have air communication with the European Union: it closed the sky for Russian aircraft at the end of February as a response to a special operation in Ukraine. Because of this, the Russians began to use Finland as a transit point to get to other countries of the Schengen agreement, said Jussi Tanner, head of the consular service of the Finnish Foreign Ministry. In total, since the beginning of the year, Russian citizens have submitted almost 60,000 applications for a Schengen visa in Finland, which is more than in the whole of last year, said Jussi Palmen, cultural adviser at the Finnish Embassy in Moscow.

Finnish citizens support the cessation of issuing tourist visas to Russians, according to a Yle survey conducted by the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation in early August. When asked whether Finland should have stopped issuing entry permits to Russian citizens, 58% of respondents answered positively. Quarter— 24%— voted to continue issuing visas to Russians, while 18% found it difficult to answer.

Read on RBC Pro Pro Coffee can go up a lot. What is happening in the market of a popular drink a video game publisher got the rights to The Lord of the Rings p> In addition to Finland, other EU countries have already introduced various restrictions on the issuance of Schengen visas. So, from August 18, Estonia stopped letting Russians into the country with visas that it had issued earlier (but continues to let Russians with Schengen visas obtained in other countries). Poland, Latvia and Lithuania also said they plan to impose restrictions on Russians. On August 31, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland announced that they would consider possible measures to reduce the number of Russians and Belarusians entering these countries, including a ban on issuing visas and crossing borders for those who already have visas from other EU countries.

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The Prime Minister of Finland announced the transition to a “war economy”

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said the country is now living in a “war economy” due to the energy crisis.

Photo: pixabay.com

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, in an interview with the Yle portal, said that now, due to the energy crisis, the country has begun to live in a “war economy”.

She clarified that the current energy crisis is unprecedented. Exceptional measures are needed to solve it. Among other things, she expressed the hope that the European Commission would help Finland in resolving this situation.

“Now we live in a war economy. I think that such an economic situation is not normal,” said Marin.

According to the head of the Finnish government, one of the measures to help overcome the crisis should be the establishment of a price ceiling for electricity.

Источник www.mk.ru

Expedition to the Russian Islands of the Gulf of Finland

The “small islands” that you look for on a map with a magnifying glass have in fact always been and remain “assembly points”; Russia as a great European power.

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Источник aif.ru

Russian Islands in the Gulf of Finland. What is the secret of these “slots of land”?

August 22-24, a memorial action was held on the outer islands of the Gulf of Finland Gogland and Big Tyuters, which completed the tenth anniversary, tenth season of field work of the integrated expedition of the Russian Geographical Society.

It must be said that the idea of the scale of the work of this expedition for an unprepared person naturally causes temporary confusion — this effect is usually described by the folk expression “eyes run wide.”

In really — the leitmotif of the memorial events, which were collectively called “Voices of the Lost Ships” there was a perpetuation of the memory of the crews of these very ships — Since 2013, more than 12 thousand deaths have been identified in the Gulf of Finland. dead sailors and submariners. Over these years, the team of the Reconnaissance and Diving Club Konstantin Bogdanovaand  of the Baltic Fleet of the Russian Navy found and recorded 15 transport vessels — participants of the Tallinn breakthrough in 1941 and 18 submarines. And last year, the largest ships of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet were found, which died on August 24, 1942 — patrol ship “Storm” and the base minesweeper  Fugas”, blown up by German mines during the raid operation on Bolshoy Tyuters Island and killing the lives of 104 red sailors.

On August 23, search submariners dived to & nbsp; the sunken ships "Burya" and  Land mine», installing on commemorative plaques with lists of crew names. On the next day, August 24th, exactly 80 years since the  and Fugas, in the very place where their crews rest under the sea waves, from the training ship of the Baltic Fleet"Perekop" lowered wreaths and flowers into the water. The dead sailors were given military honors — fireworks took place. On board the “Perekop” relatives of the dead heroes were present, who until that moment did not know how and where the life of their ancestors ended. On the same        a memorial concert — for the first time in 80 years bells sounded, raised from ships that died during the war. The concert ended with a performance by Alexander F. Sklyar «Va-Bank».

Photo: Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

What is “more important”?

And at the same time, even directly during the course of the memorial concert, the attention of all those present was repeatedly drawn to the fact that the works of search submariners relating to the Great Patriotic War — important, but not the only purpose of the expedition. That over the past ten seasons, botanists, ornithologists, geologists, geographers, geophysicists and archaeologists came to the outer islands and conducted field research, that surveys were carried out not only in fields, but and in archives, where waiting for discoveries, sometimes comparable to those made on the islands.

The human consciousness is arranged in such a way that when “eyes run wide”, it begins to frantically search for something “important”. For the simple reason that without this “main” it is extremely difficult to imagine the big picture — it slips away, breaks up into  bright, impressive, but still separate episodes, loosely connected. became the words of coordinator of the complex expedition of the Russian Geographical Society to the outer islands of the Gulf of Finland Ekaterina Khutorskaya: “For some reason, many people think that the concept of “a window to Europe” refers to & nbsp; St. Petersburg. In fact, this “window” are just the outer islands of the Gulf of Finland, without the mastery of which over any port of the Eastern Baltic, the threat of direct invasion continued to hang. Peter the Great himself understood this very well. His goal in the & nbsp; Northern War of 1700 & ndash; 1721 & nbsp; it was not so much the return to Russia of her  legitimate possessions on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea as these islands. Yes, yes, these “small patches of land”, without which neither further advancement, nor the stability of Russia in the Baltic were simply impossible. And, therefore, Russia, as a truly great European power, could not take place».

This is where the insight happened. It turns out that the outer islands of the Gulf of Finland became a kind of “assembly point” for the Russian Empire. This  brought me to  understand the "main". And at the same time explained why the initiator of the massive “scientific attack” it was the geographical society that made these islands.

Geography, especially the geography of the native country, is sometimes treated as a subject that, of course, must be studied, but apply special forces, maybe  ;not worth it. After all, everyone already knows for sure that, say, the Volga flows into the Caspian Sea. This phrase has become ironic — say, is it necessary to explain the obvious things for the hundredth time.

Photo: Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

Steps to greatness

Need. Because until you realize the true, so to speak, “complex” the meaning of this phrase, you will not understand how Russia turned into the Russian Kingdom. The fact is that this transformation took place only at the moment when Russia received Astrakhan — the very place where the Volga flows into the Caspian Sea. Ownership of the main river, the main transport artery of Eastern Europe from source to mouth became the very foundation on which an unprecedented continental empire grew up, stepping into Siberia in 20 years, and reaching the shores of the Pacific Ocean in 60 years.

Approximately the same step in the ascent to greatness was for Russia the acquisition of the outer islands of the Gulf of Finland by Petrov I during the Northern War. Or rather, not acquisition, but return. It is known that, for example, Sweden's claims to ownership of these islands refer to the Orekhov Peace of 1323 , when the Swedes clung to them with a stranglehold, and Prince Yuri of Moscowrelatively easily gave them away. In  justifying the prince, we note that he, being a purely land person, poorly understood all the benefits of owning the outer islands.

However, the employees of the complex expedition of the Russian Geographical Society noticed that the Swedes did not come to an empty place. Having carefully studied the written sources of the 14th century, they drew attention to the  report of lost merchants who went by sea to  Retusaari (Kronstadt), and got to the island of Seskar, where they "engaged in trade with local Russian residents". Judging by everything, these were representatives of the Finnish Izhora tribe, whose ancestors by that time had already accepted Novgorod citizenship and the Russian language by that time for four hundred years. Which, by the way, is indirectly confirmed by archaeological finds — on the same Gogland, a sacrificial stone with shallow indentations on surface —  — the same artifacts are characteristic of the early medieval population of the Karelian Isthmus…

But what happened, happened. Historically, the Swedes, once clinging to some territory, gave it with great reluctance and lots of blood. The same fate was in store for the outer islands. And after after Russia, having returned them to itself according to the results of the Treaty of Nystadt in 1721 , promptly broke into the club of the "Great Powers" and officially proclaimed itself an empire, the true role of these “small patches of land” became clear to everyone.

Photo: Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

New return

Seven peace treaties and twelve (!) major wars are connected with the outer islands of the Gulf of Finland, which decided the fate of Russia and Europe, and sometimes the whole world. Sometimes they themselves could become a “fuse” conflict — it is known that Carl Gustav Mannerheim, having familiarized himself in the autumn of 1939 with the next proposal of the USSR, which included these territories, with which the young Soviet Russia was forced to leave in 1920, flared up: “Better war than to give the islands to the Russians!” ;

And there was a war called “Finnish” or “Winter”. And then, just a year later — war again, already the Great Patriotic War. And the islands remained Russian. But their true role in that war was then not to pushed — no. It's just that the events are formidable and large-scale — Battle of Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk Bulge — naturally came to the fore. The islands that once made Russia a great European power and empire have been left out of the spotlight.

Actually, all the work of the Complex Expedition of the Russian Geographical Society on the outer islands of the Gulf of Finland is aimed to return them once again. To return the non to composition of Russia, since this was done back in 1945 year. No — bring them into our everyday life. In our mass consciousness.

The fact that  the initiative of the Russian Geographical Society was paid attention to and supported by such structures as the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, that the islands were finally recognized as a national reserve — already many. However, in mathematics there is such a concept — “necessary and sufficient.” So. What has already been done in the course of the work of the Complex Expedition of the Russian Geographical Society — necessary. But is clearly not enough. New research is needed. new expeditions. New results. And most importantly — holding on to these “little patches of land” in the spotlight. And  ideally, make sure that the phrase "Outer Islands become Russia window Europe" have become for us such a banality as “Volga flows into” the Caspian Sea. Preferably — from kindergarten.

Expedition to the Russian Islands in the Gulf of Finland

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Expedition to the Russian Islands of the Gulf of Finland

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Источник aif.ru

In the scandalous parties of the Prime Minister of Finland, they discerned the “Russian trace”

Finns debate 36-year-old head of government's swashbuckling fun

In Finland, passions continue to boil over the leaked video footage, in which the 36-year-old Prime Minister of the country Sanna Marin “fires” with friends at a private party. Judging by the images, the head of the Suomi government knows how to have fun on vacation. Now Finnish hotheads are trying to figure out whether such fun is acceptable for the head of the Cabinet of Ministers – especially against the backdrop of a difficult geopolitical situation.

Photo: AP

Countless videos like this are shared daily on social media by young and not-so-young people partying in Finland and around the world, the Associated Press notes. But the leak has sparked a debate among Finns about what level of fun is appropriate for a prime minister, especially given the conflict in Ukraine, which has prompted traditionally neutral Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership.

Sanna Marin, who heads the center-left Social Democratic Party, faced a barrage of questions about the party: were there drugs? And what about alcohol? Was it fun in the context of her work or was she on vacation at the time? Was the prime minister sober enough to deal with an emergency if it suddenly arose?

A video apparently filmed by someone in attendance at the party was leaked to social media and caught the attention of Finnish MASS MEDIA. Marin said she attended the party in recent weeks, but declined to say exactly where or when.

The prime minister also acknowledged that she and her friends were “noisy” and that alcohol was involved. But there were no drugs, as far as she knew. On Friday, Marin said she had passed a drug test to put an end to rumors about illegal substances.

“I hope that in 2022 even decision makers will dance, sing and go to parties,” Marin told reporters. “I didn't want any images to circulate, but voters should decide what they think about it.”

The married prime minister has a 4-year-old daughter and has often insisted that although she is the head of the Finnish government, she, like all her peers, loves to have a good time with friends and family in her spare time.

But according to the Associated Press, Finns are divided over their prime minister's fun time.

Marketer's Josua Fagerholm says the episode has the potential to damage Finland's reputation and public confidence to Finnish politicians: “I think it is important for our politicians to be respectable and enjoy the trust of the public. So I don't think it's a good image.”

Mintuu Kylliainen, a student from Helsinki, believes everyone is entitled to their opinion, but she felt the leaked video was getting too much attention. “It's okay to have a party, for example,” says Killiainen. “She should have fun in life too.”

Some of Sanna Marin's supporters say criticism of the prime minister smacks of sexism.

Sanna Marin became Finland's youngest prime minister in 2019 at the age of 34. That being said, she admits that she has always felt that her gender and age are sometimes given too much attention. In 2020, she told Vogue magazine that “in every position I've ever held, the starting point has always been my gender – I'm a young woman.”

Anu Koivonen, a professor of gender studies at the University of Turku, doesn't think the premier's female gender was a factor in the uproar over the leaked video. In her opinion, the parties themselves are not a big problem, but the fact that the video was leaked to the Internet can be seen as a mistake in the Prime Minister's judgment about the people she surrounded herself with. “She broke down in a company where she couldn't trust everyone in the room,” Koivonen said. “I think that's the main problem.”

Cybersecurity expert and representative of the conservative National Coalition Party of Finland, Jarno Limnell, considers the incident at the party problematic from a security point of view, noting that Finland's top leaders are of interest to foreign intelligence agencies.

“Information is collected from various sources, and even seemingly trivial information can be important to a foreign power, Limnell told the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. “During the NATO ratification process, decision makers are under close scrutiny.”

Not without anti-Russian paranoia in the expert community: cybersecurity expert Petteri Järvinen, quoted by the newspaper Iltalehti, suggested that Russia hacked the phone or social media accounts of someone who is in the inner circle of the Finnish prime minister, The Guardian notes. .

This isn't the first time Marin's parties have been in the media's spotlight. In December, she had to apologize for partying until 4 a.m. and missing a text message advising her to avoid social contact due to her proximity to a COVID-19-infected official. Marin said she didn't see the message because she left her phone at home.

As the Associated Press notes, even in a society as “advanced” as Finnish, Marin breaks stereotypes of the typical politician. She grew up with a single mother who was in a relationship with another woman. Many Finns are proud of her modern approach to work, including her casual wear. Marin made a splash on social media in April when she appeared at a press conference with a colleague from Sweden in a black leather jacket.

It is significant that, amid the current scandal, hundreds of Finnish women have posted videos on social media of how they dance and have parties in support of Sanna Marin.

Sanna Marin again disgraced at the party: footage of the hectic life of the Finnish Prime Minister

See related photo gallery

Источник www.mk.ru

Sweden and Finland did not extradite any promised terrorist to Ankara

Photo: pixabay.com

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Saturday that Finland and Sweden have not yet extradited any of the people involved in terrorist activities, whose extradition is demanded by Ankara.

“Sweden and Finland have not extradited a single person involved in terrorist activities to Turkey,” Bozdag stated.

According to According to him, extradition requests previously rejected by the two northern European countries have been updated by Turkey. However, “so far there is neither a positive nor a negative answer to them.”

The minister’s words are quoted by the NTV channel.

Earlier, Ankara stated that the memorandum signed with Finland and Sweden on the sidelines NATO summit in Madrid, the Turkish parliament may not approve if these countries do not fulfill the obligations enshrined in the memorandum on countering terrorist organizations.

The document was signed on June 28. They are removing barriers to Finland's and Sweden's accession to NATO. The condition is the establishment of cooperation between the northern countries and Turkey in the fight against terrorism, in particular with the PKK, its branches, as well as the FETO organization, which Ankara accuses of being involved in the coup attempt in 2016.

Источник www.mk.ru

Blinken handed over documents on the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO

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US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced in his microblog on Twitter that a package of documents on Washington's ratification of Finland and Sweden's accession to the alliance.

“I handed over … to the North Atlantic Treaty Depositary the US instruments of ratification as the last step in the process of ratifying Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO,” he wrote.

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Источник www.mk.ru

Finland allowed the creation of a humanitarian visa for Russians

The country is discussing the introduction of a new type of humanitarian visa. Earlier, the authorities decided to limit the acceptance of applications from Russians for visas to one tenth of the current number media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Finnish authorities are discussing the creation of a new type of visa— humanitarian— for the entry, for example, of journalists and civil activists in the context of changes in visa rules for Russian citizens, Yle reports, citing Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto.

According to the publication, the innovation is being discussed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Yle notes that while the country does not have this type of visa, but many other states provide it.

Also on Tuesday, Haavisto said that Finland would reduce the number of tourist visas issued to Russians to 10% of the current level. Yle writes that about 1,000 Finnish visa applications are now submitted daily. These changes are expected to take effect in early September.

According to the Foreign Minister, when deciding whether to issue an entry permit, priority will be given to those who apply for a visa for family reasons, as well as for work and study.

One way to reduce the flow of visa applications could be to limit the time it takes to receive them, Haavisto said last week. “In fact, this may mean that on Monday you can apply for a tourist visa, and from Tuesday to Friday— for a visa for family reasons, study, work or other good reasons, & mdash; he explained.

European countries began to actively discuss visa restrictions for Russians in August. Some stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens, for example, the Czech Republic stopped issuing tourist visas and residence permits at the end of February, and later extended the ban until the end of March 2023, and Latvia stopped accepting applications for an indefinite period.

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Against this background, calls began to be made to limit the issuance of Schengen visas to Russians at the EU level. However, the European Commission explained that the EU visa code does not contain the possibility to stop issuing short-term visas, including to Russian citizens.

The Kremlin promised a response “variations” in the event of a decision to stop issuing visas to Russians. “That would be very bad. <…> Still, I would like to hope for the best, at least for a small fraction of the preservation of the sober thinking of our opponents, & mdash; noted the representative of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov.

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Finland will reduce the number of visa applications from tourists from Russia by 10 times

Finland will consider 10 times fewer applications for visas from tourists from Russia Since September, the Finnish Foreign Ministry will accept half as many applications for visas from Russians. At the same time, the number of applications for tourist visas will drop ten times -width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

The Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs will accept ten times fewer applications for tourist visas from Russians, the ministry said.

“From the beginning of September, an average of 100 applications per day will be opened for those who apply for a visa for tourism purposes, which is 10% of the current number,— said in the message.

The total number of visa applications registered by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be halved— instead of 1 thousand applications, the department will accept 500. Of these, 100 will be taken to tourists, another 400— those who apply for a visa because of family ties, study or work.

Finland supported the complete suspension of the visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Russia. In this case, the amount of the visa fee will increase from €35 to €80.

At the same time, the Finnish government instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prepare proposals for a national humanitarian visa. The head of the diplomatic department, Pekka Haavisto, said that Finland could start issuing such visas to journalists or civil activists.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Finland topped the list of countries in terms of the number of Schengen visas issued to Russians, and was in the top three most popular destinations for Russian tourists. In 2019, Finnish missions in Russia issued 790,000 visas to Russians.

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Due to COVID-19, Russia and Finland closed the border for tourists. However, the restrictions from the Finnish side ceased to operate on June 30, and from the Russian— from 15 July. During the first week of July, Russians filed about 2,700 visa applications despite the lack of air and rail links.

The Association of Tour Operators of Russia pointed to the rush demand and noted that with the help of Finnish visas, Russians will be able to travel to other Schengen countries. The head of the consular service of the Finnish Foreign Ministry, Jussi Tanner, said that the country would limit “transit tourism” for Russians and will refuse those who used their entry permit to travel to other countries.

In mid-July, the main parliamentary parties in Finland advocated not issuing tourist visas to Russians due to hostilities in Ukraine . Then the Russian Foreign Ministry warned Finnish colleagues about retaliatory measures and possible confrontation in bilateral relations due to discrimination against Russians.

Later, Tanner explained that the authorities were considering six options for restricting tourism from Russia. Among them were a complete halt in issuing visas, which is prohibited by the laws of the European Union and the rules of the Schengen area, and limiting the number of applications accepted.

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Finland and Estonia are discussing the creation of a joint missile defense system

The authorities of Finland and Estonia are discussing the creation of a joint system anti-missile defense (ABM). This was announced by the head of the Estonian Defense Ministry Hanno Pevkur, reports RIA Novosti.

“We need to unite our coastal defense. The range of Estonian and Finnish missiles exceeds the width of the Gulf of Finland. This means that we combine our missile defense and share all the information with each other, – said the Minister of Defense.

According to him, the unification of missile defense systems will become possible after Finland joins the North Atlantic Alliance. In addition, the head of the Estonian Ministry of Defense expressed the opinion that such integration will allow  "close" the Gulf of Finland for ships of the Russian Navy.

Earlier Russian Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said that Finland's accession to NATO raises the question of the fate of the Åland Islands, which have a demilitarized status under an international treaty.

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Tallinn offered Helsinki to block the Gulf of Finland for Russian ships

The common missile defense system of Finland and Estonia will allow “closing” the Gulf of Finland for Russian ships, said the head of the Ministry of Defense of the Baltic Republic 756603154132239.webp 673w” type=”image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution : 192dpi)” >

Hanno Pevkur (center) < p>Estonia and Finland are negotiating a joint missile defense system (ABM), Hanno Pevkur, the new Minister of Defense of Estonia, told Iltalehti newspaper.

“We need to unify our coastal defenses. The range of Estonian and Finnish missiles exceeds the width of the Gulf of Finland. This means that we combine our missile defense and share all the information with each other,— said Pevkur.

In his opinion, such a decision would allow “closing” Gulf of Finland for Russian ships. Iltalehti recalls that last year Estonia decided to purchase Israeli Blue Spear anti-ship missiles with a range of 290 km for coastal defense. And the Finnish Navy has Swedish MTO 85M anti-ship missiles with a range of more than 100 km.

And when Finland and Sweden decided to join the alliance, the Baltic Sea became an “inland sea”; NATO, Pevkur noted. According to him, when these countries enter the bloc, “the situation that exists today will change.”

Pevkur became head of the Estonian Ministry of Defense in mid-July. Prior to that, in different years he headed the ministries of social affairs, justice and internal affairs. This week, Pevkur, in his new position, visited Finland, where he met with his colleague Antti Koikkonen.

Sweden and Finland announced their intention to join NATO after the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine, explaining the decision by the changed security situation and emphasizing that it is not directed against Moscow. The protocols on joining the alliance were signed in early July, now all states must ratify the documents— members of NATO.

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The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO would worsen the situation in the Baltic Sea region, which, as a result of the expansion of the alliance, would turn “into an arena, if not of military confrontation, then definitely of military rivalry.” In turn, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the membership of Sweden and Finland in NATO does not bother the country in itself. But these countries must understand that if military contingents and infrastructure are deployed on their territory, then Russia will be forced to respond in a mirror manner and “create the same threats to the territories from which the threats are created.” for her, he said.

Alexey Arbatov, head of the Center for International Security at the IMEMO RAS, believes that so far Finland cannot respond to Estonia's proposal, because Helsinki has not yet joined NATO.

“Then they will be able to decide whether they will do something about it. Maybe they will unite missile defense, maybe not— it's too early to tell. This will not affect Russia in any way. Firstly, missile defense does not fight against missile defense: it would be like a war of trench against trench, after all, we are talking about defensive systems, and missile defense counteracts offensive missiles. Russia has defense systems, in the same Kaliningrad it is very powerful, the second most powerful after Moscow, there is a “dome” over the entire Kaliningrad region that performs a protective function. Maybe Estonia and Finland will create something similar. In response to this, Russia can build up its missile power, although there is no need for this, but such a step cannot be ruled out. In this case, Estonia and Finland will build up missile defense and air defense and require the deployment of American missiles on their territory. With regard to the statement of the Estonian Minister regarding the “closure” of Gulf of Finland for Russian warships, it should be noted that most of our ships in the Baltic Sea are located not on the territory of the Gulf of Finland, but in the same Kaliningrad region. Therefore, such an intention is not entirely clear. In any case, “close” The Gulf of Finland does not make sense for our ships, — Arbatov said in a conversation with RBC.

Military observer Viktor Litovkin believes that the unification of Estonia and Finland is quite possible, it cannot be ruled out that Helsinki will agree.

“But Russia does not have to worry at all about which no action is required. On the contrary, if we react and start doing something in response, then it will be a big economic loss, and it is possible that everything is being started for this: to provoke Russia into some kind of reaction related to financial investments. It makes no sense to answer, and for Russia it means absolutely nothing,»,— said Litovkin.

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Finland urged to freeze the high-speed rail project in the direction of Russia

In connection with the Russian military operation in Ukraine, the head of the Finnish Ministry of Trade called for stopping the road construction project towards Russia and allocating funds for the development of railway communication in other directions< source srcset="https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/resized/1200xH/media/img/0/48/756602553556480.webp 1200w" type="image/webp" media="(-webkit-min-device -pixel-ratio: 2), (min-resolution: 192dpi)" >

< /p>

The Finnish government should reconsider its plans to build the high-speed Itärata (Eastern Railway) in the direction of Russia because of the military operation in Ukraine. This was stated by Finnish Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Ville Skinnari, Yle reports.

“It is clear that the Itärata project and the activities of its project company must be suspended,” — says Skinnari. According to him, the funds intended for the project should be redirected to the construction of a railway connection in other directions. In particular, on the road connecting the cities of Heinola and Mikkeli in the south of the country.

Skinnari noted that this issue has not yet been discussed either in his own Social Democratic Party or in the country's government.

< p>

Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka has not yet commented on Skinnari's proposal.

According to Yle, the Eastern Railway project was designed to improve transport links between Eastern Finland and the capital of Helsinki, as well as to promote tourism and trade with Russia; a few years ago, the authorities estimated the cost of Itärata at €1.7 billion, but now the cost of the project should increase.

Finland lifted anti-coronavirus entry restrictions for foreigners from June 30. Since July 15, restrictions on land borders that have been in effect since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic have been canceled by Russia.

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However, soon after, the main parliamentary parties in Finland spoke out against issuing tourist visas to Russians due to hostilities in Ukraine. Jussi Tannera, head of the consular department of the Finnish Foreign Ministry, said that the country's authorities are considering six options for restricting tourism from Russia, including stopping visas, closing borders for passenger traffic, and following EU policy.

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Turkey accuses Sweden and Finland of not fulfilling NATO promises

Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu: Sweden and Finland did not fulfill their promises to join NATO Turkey has not seen Sweden and Finland take steps to extradite the Kurds, the Foreign Minister said. Swedish SVT writes that Stockholm is ready to extradite one of them. Turkey promises in return to approve the entry of these countries into NATO media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Mevlut Cavusoglu

Sweden and Finland have not yet fulfilled the demands made by Ankara to join NATO, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a press conference, quoted by the Turkish Anadolu agency.

The Minister recalled the agreement that Ankara has concluded with Helsinki and Stockholm. According to him, they must extradite members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which it considers terrorist, to Turkey, close all organizations associated with its structures, and give guarantees to Ankara. Turkey, for its part, undertook not to impede the entry of these countries into NATO. However, the Turkish side has not yet seen Sweden and Finland take any steps in this direction, he said.

For a state to join NATO, it must be approved by all other current members of the organization. However, Turkey has stated that it will prevent this until Helsinki and Stockholm comply with its demands.

Finland threatens holders of Finnish visas for traveling to Europe in transit

Finnish Foreign Ministry: Watching Russians who only use the Finnish Schengen for transit The Finnish Foreign Ministry is aware that some Russians use the Finnish Schengen only for transit to other European countries. The consular department of the department warned that it plans to “intervene” in this situation< source srcset="https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/resized/590xH/media/img/7/30/756599617237307.webp 590w" type="image/webp" >

Finland intends to limit “transit tourism” for Russians and in the future may refuse to issue new Schengen visas to those who used a previous entry permit to enter the country only to then go somewhere else, Jussi Tanner, head of the consular service of the Finnish Foreign Ministry, said in an interview with the Yle television and radio company.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country is already drawing attention to the fact that after the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, many Russians use the Finnish Schengen only to use it to enter other countries of the agreement, for example, to the Mediterranean Sea through Finland.

"We will intervene if the Russians start traveling around the Finnish Schengen somewhere else,— promised the head of the consular service.

In addition, the Finnish Foreign Ministry has already reduced the number of tourist visas issued to Russians, limiting the possibility of making an appointment at the country's diplomatic missions in Russia. Embassies and consulates now accept only 1,000 applications daily. Tanner warned that this number could be further reduced in the future.

Finnish visas give the right to travel to other Schengen countries (there are 26 in total), including most EU countries. However, if the visa issued by Finland is clearly used only for transit to another country, the applicant may be denied the next visa, Yle points out.

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More than half of the inhabitants of Finland are in favor of stopping the issuance of tourist visas to Russians, follows from a Yle survey conducted by the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation earlier. When asked whether Finland should stop issuing entry permits to Russian citizens, 58% of respondents answered positively, 24% voted in favor of continuing the issuance of permits, and another 18% of citizens found it difficult to answer.

Tanner also previously said that the Finnish authorities are considering six options for restricting tourism from Russia: a complete cessation of issuing visas, limiting the number of applications accepted, allowing entry only for a good reason (funeral, medical treatment, visiting relatives, etc.), cancellation of previously issued visas and the closure of passenger traffic.

The sixth option, which is supported by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs itself,— is to follow the policy of the European Union. “This issue [issuance of tourist visas in Russia] should be coordinated at the level of the EU and the Schengen countries,” — stated earlier and.about. Prime Minister of Finland, Minister for EU Affairs and Public Property Tytti Tuppurainen.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, commenting on Helsinki's plans, warned that if Finland refused to issue visas to Russians, Moscow would take retaliatory measures. Agency spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that this kind of “discriminatory political measure” may lead to increased tension in Europe.

Russia and the EU signed an agreement on a simplified visa regime, which implies a simplified procedure for processing documents for officials and entrepreneurs. On February 26, Brussels partially suspended its action due to Russia's special military operation in Ukraine.

The European Commission previously ruled out a complete cessation of issuing visas to Russians, as this is contrary to EU standards. However, they recalled that the countries of the association have the right to independently decide whether to issue a visa to enter the country or not.

The issuance of short-term Schengen visas to Russians in one way or another has already been limited by the visa centers of Belgium, Malta, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Estonia.

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American veterans urged to block the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO

photo en.wikipedia.org

The press service of the United States veterans association Concerned Veterans for America published an appeal to the US Senate in which veterans urged parliamentarians to disapprove of NATO expansion to include Sweden and Finland.

CVA Senior Adviser Dan Caldwell recalled that the US is currently saddled with $30 trillion in public debt, record inflation and growing limits on military capabilities .

“The last thing we need to do now is — it is to extend security guarantees through NATO to two more rich European states … The main attention must be paid to domestic needs and security,” he stressed.

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The US Senate approved the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO

Thus, the US added to the list of more than 20 countries whose legislature ratified documents on NATO expansion. For Finland and Sweden to join the bloc, the consent of all 30 members of the alliance is required image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >< source srcset="https://s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/resized/590xH/media/img/1/96/756595642601961.webp 590w" type="image/webp" >

The US Senate approved a resolution to ratify the protocols on accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, Reuters reports.< /p>

According to the agency, “for” the accession of countries to the military alliance voted 83 senators, “against”— one.

Thus, the resolution was adopted by a majority of the 67 required votes, and the United States added to the list of more than 20 countries whose legislatures ratified documents on NATO expansion. To join the NATO bloc, Sweden and Finland need to all 30 member countries of the alliance have ratified the corresponding agreement.

Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO in May this year. The countries emphasized that the decision is related to the Russian military operations in Ukraine, however, it is not directed against Moscow and is due to the “changed security situation”.

According to the application procedure, everyone must approve NATO members, but Turkey opposed. She demanded that the countries extradite members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which Turkey considers a terrorist organization, to Ankara, close all organizations associated with the PKK structures, and provide Turkey with guarantees.

Nevertheless, already at the end of June, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. The parties were able to agree on the issue of countries joining NATO, and Ankara agreed to support the candidates. Erdogan subsequently stated that parliament would only ratify their applications after they fulfilled their promises to Ankara.

In early July, Erdogan again stressed that Turkey would return to its original position regarding the membership of Sweden and Finland in the alliance if it sees “attempts to delay the implementation of the commitments made or hypocrisy.”

At the same time, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde called exaggerated fears that Ankara could again block countries from joining the alliance. “I think we've worked so hard on this that we don't have to worry too much about further problems coming up. But it would be unreasonable of me to say that nothing will come up at all,— she said.

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Finland names six options for restricting Russian tourism

Options include stopping visa processing, closing borders for passenger traffic, as well as following EU policy and harmonizing measures already at a general level. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned that it would respond to Finland in case of refusal to issue visas max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Finnish authorities are considering six options for restricting tourism from Russia against the backdrop of a special operation in Ukraine, with reference to the head of the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jussi Tanner, Yle TV channel reported.

We are talking about the following options:

  • complete cessation of issuance of visas for Russians. However, as Yle points out, this is prohibited by EU laws and Schengen regulations;
  • limiting the number of visa applications accepted. This option is easy to implement, but ineffective, since about 100,000 Russians already have valid tourist visas that will allow them to visit the country for several more years, the article says;
  • allow entry to the country only for a good reason— to visit close relatives, receive treatment, attend funerals and other important circumstances;
  • cancel visas issued to Russians. However, this measure is also unlikely to be legal under the norms of both Finland itself and the European Union, writes Yle;
  • closing the border for passenger traffic. The authors of the article believe that this is “the only right way”, however, it is fraught with political consequences due to public protests and may not be supported by politicians.

The sixth option, which is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Finland,— it is to follow EU policy. “This issue [issuance of tourist visas in Russia] should be coordinated at the level of the EU and the Schengen countries,” — noted earlier and.about. Prime Minister of Finland, Minister for EU Affairs and State Property Tytti Tuppurainen (Prime Minister Sanna Marin is on vacation).

The issue of stopping the issuance of tourist visas to Russians this week was raised by the main political parties of the Finnish Parliament— The Social Democratic and Coalition parties, as well as the “True Finns” and “Finland Centre”. “Russian shopping and holidays in Finland and through Finland in Europe rightly infuriate many. Suspension of tourist visas would be a justified measure, as Estonia did earlier,— said the head of the “True Finns” Riikka Purra.

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The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that if Finland refuses to issue Schengen tourist visas Russians, Moscow will retaliate. Such a step, caused by “political motives”, will lead “to aggravate confrontation in bilateral relations,” said the representative of the department, Maria Zakharova.

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Medvedev promised a symmetrical response to Finland’s accession to NATO

According to the deputy head of the Security Council, the accession of Sweden and Finland to the alliance will worsen the security situation in the Baltic region, and the border of Karelia with Finland will actually turn into the border of Russia with NATOv6_top_pics/resized/320xH/media/img/3/76/756590232317763.jpg 320w 800xH/media/img/3/76/756590232317763.jpg 800w v6_top_pics/resized/400xH/media/img/3/76/756590232317763.jpg 400w” media=”(max-width: 400px)” >

Dmitry Medvedev

Russia will respond symmetrically to the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO, said Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, without specifying what it was about.

“As for our reaction to the entry of these countries into NATO, then, as the President of our country said, this reaction will be symmetrical,— he told reporters following a meeting held in Karelia on ensuring Russia's security in the northwestern direction (quote from Interfax).

Video

At the same time, the deputy head of the Security Council pointed out that the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO could worsen the security situation in the Baltic region, “because the Baltic Sea is now, in fact, becoming a sea dominated by NATO countries.” Medvedev also noted that now Karelia's border with Finland is becoming Russia's border with NATO.

In May, against the backdrop of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO. The countries emphasized that the decision was not directed against Moscow and was due to the changed security situation.

According to the application procedure, all NATO members must approve, but Turkey opposed it. She demanded that the countries hand over to Ankara members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which Turkey considers a terrorist organization, close all organizations associated with the PKK structures, and provide Turkey with guarantees.

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On June 28, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. The parties were able to agree on the issue of countries joining NATO, and Ankara agreed to support the candidates. Erdogan subsequently stated that parliament would ratify their applications only after they fulfilled their promises to Ankara.

In early July, Erdogan reiterated that Turkey would return to its original position on Sweden's membership and Finland in the alliance if he sees “attempts to delay the implementation of the obligations taken or hypocrisy.”

At the same time, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde called exaggerated fears that Ankara could again block countries from joining the alliance. “I think we've worked so hard on this that we don't have to worry too much about further problems coming up. But it would be unreasonable of me to say that nothing will come up at all,— she said.

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The main parties in Finland supported the refusal to issue visas to Russians

Visa restrictions for Russian tourists were supported by the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP), the Coalition Party, the True Finns party and the Finland Center

The building of the Consulate General of Finland in St. Petersburg

The main parliamentary parties Finland supported the refusal to issue tourist visas to Russians due to hostilities in Ukraine, parliamentarians were interviewed by the STT agency and the Yle television and radio company.

Visa restrictions are supported by the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP), the Coalition Party, the &laquo “True Finns” and “Finland Center”.

“In this situation, there is a reason to stop issuing tourist visas to Russians,” — says the representative of the Coalition Party, a member of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, Elina Valtonen, her words are quoted by Yle. She called “absurd” an opportunity for Russian citizens to travel to the West “as if nothing had happened”.

According to the parliamentarian from the “Center” Mikko Savoli, the government should soon consider the issue of visas and submit its proposal to tighten the visa regime. The impossibility of obtaining tourist visas should serve as the same signal for the Russian leadership as the sanctions against Russia, he is convinced.

Valtonen, in turn, noted that Finland should also restrict the entry of Russians into the country in connection with the entry in NATO.

In addition, Savola and Green Party member Saara Hürkkö expect the EU to show unity on this issue.

“An EU-level solution would be the best option, because it had the greatest influence,— Hürkkö is convinced.

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As RBC wrote, in the visa centers of France, Greece and Spain, free windows for making an appointment for filing documents ended in July. Queues also arose at the Consulate General of Finland in St. Petersburg. Documents for a visa cannot be submitted until September, Fontanka wrote. The diplomatic mission explained the situation with an increase in the number of applicants after the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

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Erdogan reminded Sweden and Finland about the conditions for NATO membership

According to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ankara will not make any concessions and will not support NATO membership of Sweden and Finland, until they fulfill their previously assumed obligations to combat terrorism.

The Turkish leader recalled that the memorandum signed in Madrid at the NATO summit is just an invitation to the alliance, and he told all his colleagues in the military bloc about this . If the authorities in Sweden and Finland do not change their attitude towards the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and its offshoots, the Turkish parliament will not approve the protocol on joining the alliance of the Nordic countries.

“Until they stop supporting terrorist organizations, they Turkey should not be expected to have a positive attitude towards their membership in NATO. Let no one expect concessions from us on this issue,” Erdogan said on TRT.

Источник www.mk.ru

Finland says there are no plans to stop issuing visas to Russians

Helsinki supports the EU sanctions policy and does not plan to introduce visa restrictions on its own, Tuppurainen said. Earlier, a number of Finnish deputies called for the termination of the issuance of tourist visas to Russians “Finland declared no plans to stop issuing visas to Russians” />

Finland has no plans to stop issuing tourist visas in Russia amid a Russian special operation in Ukraine, the acting official told Ilta-Sanomat. Prime Minister of Finland, Minister for EU Affairs and Public Property Tytti Tuppurainen (Prime Minister Sanna Marin is on vacation).

“The policy of Finland is to support the common EU sanctions policy. This issue [issuance of tourist visas in Russia] should be coordinated at the level of the EU and the Schengen countries. The European Union has already frozen part of the visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Russia <…>. There is readiness for other actions,»,— Tuppurainen said.

She added that Finland is not preparing its own measures on this issue.

Meanwhile, a number of Finnish deputies spoke in favor of stopping the issuance of tourist visas in Russia. Among them— Jouni Ovaska (Centre Party), Elina Valtonen (National Coalition), as well as the head of the True Finns party Riikka Purra.

“Russian shopping and holidays in Finland and through Finland in Europe rightly infuriate many. Suspension of tourist visas would be a justified measure, as Estonia did earlier,— Purra wrote on Twitter.

Finland lifted COVID entry restrictions for foreigners from June 30th. Since July 15, restrictions on land borders, which have been in effect since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, have also been canceled by Russia.

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On the day of the opening of the border, more than 5 thousand people passed through the border checkpoints of the two countries, which corresponds to the pre-coronavirus level, said Kimmo Gromoff, head of the border service of Southeast Finland. About 60% of travelers went from Russia to Finland.

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The number of people crossing the border between Russia and Finland has reached a pre-Covid level

More than 5,000 people crossed the Russian-Finnish land border on the day of opening On the day when the government lifted the “anticoid” restrictions on land borders, more than 5,000 people passed through the border checkpoints of the two countries. About 60% of travelers were heading from Russia to Finland

The number of people who crossed the Russian-Finnish land border on the day Russia lifted restrictions reached a pre-coronavirus level— more than 5,000 people, Yle TV reported, citing Kimmo Gromoff, the head of the South-East Finnish border guard.

According to him, about 500 border crossings were recorded at the Imatra checkpoint (adjacent to Russia & mdash; Svetogorsk), at the Nuijamaa checkpoint (located between the cities of Lappeenranta and Vyborg)— around 1800, and in Vaalimaa (on the Russian side the border crossing is called Torfyanovka)— about 3,000. “That's about the same as a typical day when there were no restrictions,” — he said.

As Gromoff noted, about 60% of travelers went from Russia to Finland, the rest— from Finland to Russia. The head of the border service noted that Russians most often go to Finland for the purposes of tourism, shopping or checking their real estate, and the Finns— for refueling with cheap gasoline.

Finland lifted anti-coronavirus entry restrictions for foreigners from June 30. Since July 15, restrictions on land borders that have been in effect since March 2020 in connection with the coronavirus pandemic have been canceled by Russia.

“Fontanka” wrote that on that day tourists were not immediately allowed to cross the border— until a government decree was published that officially allows Russians to leave Russia for European countries without good reason (medical certificates, work abroad, residence permits), some travelers were turned back. They began to pass by 11 am.

According to the Finnish side, up to this point, Finnish citizens also could not enter Russia. Otto Juusela, deputy head of the Imatra border checkpoint, told Yle that a day before the publication of the decision of the Russian Cabinet of Ministers, five people faced such a situation: “Of course, we let them in from our side, but on the Russian side they were turned back.” Early in the morning of July 15, when another Finnish citizen was trying to cross the border, Russian border guards “translated into his native language why he couldn’t come yet and invited him to return when the restrictions were lifted,” Juusela said.

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You can now get to Finland only by car. At the end of February 2021, Russia resumed flights with Finland. However, a year later, Russia banned flights to this country, as well as to 36 states. This was the response of the Russian authorities to the decision of the European Union to close the skies for Russian aircraft due to the military operation in Ukraine.

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Zakharova responded to Finland’s decision to make a fence on the border with Russia

The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, in response to the approval of Finnish President Sauli Niinistö for the construction of a fence on the border with Russia, asked Helsinki what material the fence would consist of. She wrote about this in her Telegram.

Niinistö approved amendments to the law on border guards, which allow the installation of barriers on the border with Russia, earlier on July 8. Before that, on July 7, it was approved by the Finnish Parliament. As specified in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the country, the amendments should come into force on July 15.

“Therefore, provisions for the construction of barriers in the border area, such as fences, will be added to the national legislation in order to better prepare for various threats to the country's security.” ;,— said in a statement from the department.

The same law now allows the country to respond to “hybrid threats, such as using migration to exert political pressure.” Thus, “reception of applications for asylum”; the authorities intend to conduct “centrally, only at specially designated border checkpoints.”

For the first time, the Finnish Ministry of Internal Affairs announced plans to erect barriers on the border with Russia in June 2022. Then the head of the department, Krista Mikkonen, said that although the situation on the country's borders remains calm, the authorities are preparing for “various riots.”

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After the President of Finland approved the law, Matti Pitkyanitti, head of the international cooperation department of the Border Guard, admitted that part of the fence could be built this summer. According to him, the length of the Finnish-Russian border is 1,340 km. he said.

Canada is the first to ratify the membership of Sweden and Finland in NATO

To complete the procedure for the accession of the two Nordic countries to NATO, it is necessary that all 30 member countries ratify the accession protocol

Members of the House of Commons of the Canadian Parliament on the last day of work before the holidays unanimously ratified the protocol on the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO, reports Reuters. Thus, Canada became the first country to officially approve the membership of Sweden and Finland in NATO. Now 29 more NATO members must go through the same process.

“Before using the administrative process to ratify their membership, Foreign Secretary Melanie Jolie spoke to lawmakers to make sure they agreed,” ; said a spokesman for the Canadian Foreign Office.

“We wanted to be the first country to ratify the convention,”— he added.

“Canada has full confidence in the ability of Finland and Sweden to quickly and effectively integrate into NATO and contribute to the alliance's collective defense,”— Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau said in a statement.

The material is being supplemented

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The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO brought Russia serious risks

The Finns would very much like to return Vyborg

The process of Sweden and Finland joining NATO has continued. On July 4, negotiations between these countries and the Alliance were completed in Brussels. On July 5, the Foreign Ministers of Sweden and Finland signed the Accession Protocol at NATO Headquarters. Ruslan Pukhov, a military analyst and director of the Moscow Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST), spoke about the military significance of NATO expansion in the northwest.

Photo: Global Look Press

– Of course, this means the deterioration of our strategic position. And not because these countries suddenly became anti-Russian overnight – even before that they loved us like a dog with a stick. However, they were not at least formally integrated into NATO structures, and accordingly, they behaved cautiously and correctly towards us.

Now, their joining the Alliance may lead to the fact that their leadership – especially in conditions when governments are changing from more sane to less sane – is able to start provoking us, which will increase the risk of starting a war. In any case, such a move by Stockholm and Helsinki does not lead to anything good. And the one who says that their entry into NATO means practically nothing to us, he, I think, is disingenuous.

Everything is pretty serious. For example, the Finns decided to buy the American F-35 aircraft. With modern weapons on board, this is a formidable military force that poses a danger, including even to our 5th generation aircraft, which we also currently have in very limited numbers.

I think that the Finns probably have largely worked out protocols for suppressing our air defense systems. So it is not surprising that the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons in this area is becoming more and more relevant for us.

– The Finnish army is a very powerful combat structure. Not because she fought a lot, but because all her life she was well prepared to fight with us. And in which case their army will be very motivated. The Finns have good tank units. Excellent infantry. This is generally a very serious opponent.

– The Swedes have a smaller army than the Finns. Their army, relatively speaking, can be called less militant. And then, unlike Finland, we have no land border with the Swedes. Let me remind you that the border with Finland is more than a thousand kilometers.

However, the Swedes have the deepest, centuries-old Russophobic traditions. And this fact also makes them very unpleasant opponents. If they have to fight with us, they will also be very motivated to do it.

– Yes, they have their own military-industrial complex. The Swedes, for example, make aircraft, including early warning aircraft – air command posts. In general, their military-industrial complex is very developed. The Swedes have historically emphasized significant self-sufficiency.

– Yes, but in addition to aircraft, they also have their own beautiful corvettes, submarines, missiles… In general, both Sweden and Finland are rich countries. Everything that they lack for their own army, they can buy either in other European countries or in the USA, as the Finns do, buying F-35s there.

Now, against the backdrop of our special operation, the military budgets of these countries will be increased, and in the field of defense they will begin to integrate more closely with the rest of the European countries of NATO.

Previously, they mainly developed these ties with their neighbors – Norway, Denmark. Now military cooperation will spread more widely to Europe and the USA, which, of course, is bad for us.

This will force us to invest more financially in the arms race. We've already gotten into it. And now it doesn’t matter at all whether we did it ourselves or were dragged into it. The score is on the scoreboard. We will have to spend more on defense than before February this year. This means that less money will be spent on infrastructure projects, healthcare, and education. There is no need to have any illusions here.

– Yes, it is observed correctly. The Baltic has been largely demilitarized since the 1990s. Most countries, including Russia, kept symbolic contingents of their navies there. A naval and missile arms race will now begin in the Baltic. And the worst thing is that with the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO, St. Petersburg is turning into a front-line city. This puts it at risk, as the Alliance's modern weaponry gives them the ability to strike devastatingly at the city. To prevent this, we will have to seriously strengthen the air and missile defense system there.

– I agree. But there are two main components of the NATO structure. One is a military organization. The other is political, through which the Americans conduct their policy in Europe. A kind of seatbelt to Washington.

In this second component, by and large, with the entry of these two countries, nothing changes. As Washington dictated its own will through NATO, so it will continue to dictate it. It's just that two more countries are added to the European list that refuse to pursue a policy independent of the United States.

On the other hand, the military component of NATO at the expense of Sweden and Finland will experience a noticeable increase. The entry of many newcomers into the Bloc did not give the Alliance anything, since these countries were not security donors. They became consumers of security and could not give anything to the military organization of NATO.

At one time there was even such a joke: in order to destroy this organization, it is necessary either for everyone to leave it, or for everyone to join at once. NATO, as a military organization, simply swelled from accepting such members, turning into something shapeless and poorly controlled.

– After Poland joined NATO in 1997, all other countries were basically ballast for the alliance. In some cases, a completely frank ballast, like, say, Montenegro, Croatia or Albania. In some cases, partial – like Slovakia or the Czech Republic.

It is quite obvious that in the 25 years since the first wave of NATO expansion, this structure has been growing for the first time not as a liability, but as an asset. In this sense, this is, of course, a valuable acquisition for the alliance.

– How to say … The Swedes say that they have not forgotten how the troops of Peter I ruled their territory 300 years ago. They remind us of some burned church.

But we also have a good memory, and we remember how in 1706 in Poland the Swedes treated captured Russian soldiers who fought as part of the Saxon army. After the battle, the Swedes then methodically separated the Russians from the Saxons, after which all our soldiers were stabbed with bayonets right on the spot, thereby committing a war crime.

During World War II, Sweden de facto, although not de jure, was ally of Hitler. Being formally neutral, she took a position hostile to us, helping the Nazis.

– If we talk about the everyday side of the issue, then, of course, the Finns are civilized, rich people. And any xenophobia is most often born out of poverty, when everyone is offended by everyone. But it's about politics. Everything is different there.

Photo: en.wikipedia.org

Despite the fact that Finland formally did not have any territorial claims against Russia, recognized the results of World War II, nevertheless, the Finnish political establishment, and many Finnish citizens, did not forget that the city of Vyborg was once the second largest Finnish city after Helsinki Viipuri. The Finns lost it in 1940, then left in 1944. And at any slightest opportunity, of course, they will try to return it.

– I am sure that if there is the slightest opportunity to return their former territories, they will, of course, use such a moment. I have no doubt that Vyborg and half of Karelia will try to “squeeze” us.

– It all depends on the situation. And it will worsen with the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO. True, we had no illusions about these countries before. Therefore, now we will simply have to competently maneuver the available opportunities, restrain the unjustified or provocative impulses of these countries.

Both the Swedes and the Finns have already experienced the power of Russian weapons. bad memories for them. They still remember very well how they got hit in the teeth from us. And if you suddenly forgot, so we can remind you. So they can cling to us again only if we turn out to be frankly weak. So we can't be weak.

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Negotiations on Finland’s accession to NATO concluded in Brussels

Photo: pixabay.com

According to the STT news agency, negotiations on Finland's entry into the North Atlantic Alliance have been completed in Brussels. It is expected that a protocol will be signed on July 5, according to which Finland will become an observer member in NATO.

During the talks, Finland was represented by a delegation led by the country's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto. He also plans to be present at the signing of the protocol.

Earlier, Finland, as well as Sweden, applied to join NATO. Initially, these applications were blocked by Turkey, but subsequently the countries managed to reach an agreement.

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Named the probability of deploying NATO nuclear weapons in Sweden and Finland

Stockholm and Helsinki have a long way to go to NATO

On Tuesday, Sweden and Finland are expected to sign a NATO accession protocol. This was announced last week by Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. However, this is not yet the finish line in the Scandinavian sprint run, but only one of many milestones on a path that can stretch for a long time.

Photo: dvidshub.net

“We are going to officially sign the accession protocol on Tuesday in the presence of the foreign ministers of Sweden and Finland, but the decision has already been made,” Stoltenberg said at a press conference on results of the NATO summit in Madrid.

The two Nordic countries were officially invited to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization after the signing on June 28 by Turkey, Finland and Sweden of a tripartite memorandum in which Stockholm and Helsinki pledged to fulfill the demands put forward by Ankara.

Although Jens Stoltenberg, following the results of the “historic » agreement stated that it expects Sweden and Finland to quickly become members of a military alliance, a formal invitation from NATO launches the accession process, consisting of a number of steps.

Key milestones along the way include negotiations between NATO and candidate countries. Applicants must formally commit to membership, and then the current Member States sign the Protocol of Accession before individually ratifying this document in their legislatures.

Now after signing, the protocol must be ratified by the parliaments of all thirty members block of states so that both countries can become part of NATO.

“We need a ratification process in 30 parliaments – it always takes some time, but I also expect it to happen quite quickly, because the allies are ready to try to make this ratification process as fast as possible,” Stoltenberg explained during the Madrid summit.

And here, for the Swedes and Finns, an “ambush” may arise – taking into account Erdogan’s threats voiced in recent days, not to submit the relevant document for ratification to Turkish legislators if Sweden and Finland do not fulfill the obligations enshrined in the deal with Ankara.

True, the Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson promised to comply with the agreement concluded with Turkey, including the obligation to extradite the terrorists. Speaking at the annual Almedalen Week political festival in Gotland on Sunday, she added that those who are not involved in terrorist activities have nothing to worry about: “Swedish citizens cannot be extradited in accordance with national and international law. If you have not been involved in terrorist activities, you have nothing to worry about.” Whether such a position will suit Ankara is still difficult to say, given Erdogan's penchant for unexpected political somersaults.

If (or when) parliamentarians in all current NATO countries give the green light to expansion, candidate countries will be formally invited to join to the Washington Treaty, the founding document of the Alliance.

Typically, the ratification process takes about a year – from the signing of the Accession Protocol by current NATO members to the country's accession to the Washington Treaty. NATO optimists, however, believe that given the Ukrainian crisis, Finland and Sweden could be accepted as soon as possible. However, realists point to the unpredictability of Turkey's behavior, which, as Erdogan openly promises, can block the process at the ratification stage in the Turkish parliament.

But if the Swedes and Finns manage to overcome all obstacles, and they become members of the Alliance, then Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty will apply to them, according to which all signatory parties consider an attack on one member of the organization as an attack on all.

The question arises: will the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO entail the emergence of military bases of the Alliance on their territory, near the borders with Russia? And will these Nordic countries develop nuclear weapons?

So far in Stockholm and Helsinki! – are firmly trying to assure others that they do not plan to become “bastions” of NATO. In particular, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt told CNN that he does not foresee the construction of new large military bases either in Sweden or in Finland if they join the Alliance. Joining the bloc is likely to mean more joint military training and planning between Finland, Sweden and the 30 current NATO members, he said. Swedish and Finnish forces may also be involved in NATO operations around the world, for example, in the Baltic countries, where multinational military contingents are stationed at several bases.

On the other hand, it has recently become known that the mayor of a nearby The Russian city of Lappeenranta, Finland, Kimmo Järva, spoke in the spirit that the city would not mind, if necessary, providing the military with its airport as a NATO base.

As for the possibility of deploying nuclear weapons in Sweden or Finland, the entry of certain countries into NATO does not automatically mean sending weapons of mass destruction there. Moreover, in the past, the Americans have deployed their nuclear warheads in non-NATO countries (for example, in Asia).

So far – and this is again the key word – there are signals from the West that The North Atlantic Alliance does not intend to deploy nuclear weapons or permanent bases in the territories of new members. In particular, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin spoke about this in an interview with the Italian edition of Corriere della Sera: “No one will come to us to impose nuclear weapons or permanent bases on us if we do not want it. I don't think there is even an interest in deploying nuclear weapons or opening NATO bases in Finland.” The ruling Social Democratic Party in Sweden, for its part, announced that it would oppose the deployment of nuclear weapons and military bases of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Sweden. However, no one can give any guarantees that bases and nuclear weapons will not appear on Finnish or Swedish soil. Yes, it looks like it won't even try.

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Turkey scared Sweden and Finland: non-compliance with the deal will be expensive

Ankara continues to put pressure on Swedes and Finns aspiring to NATO

Failure to comply with the deal with Turkey will cost Sweden and Finland much more than its implementation, Akif, chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, said on Sunday Çağatay Kılıç in connection with the agreement between Ankara, Helsinki and Stockholm reached at the NATO summit in Madrid.

Photo: AP

In a conversation with the Anadolu (AA) agency, Akif Çağatay Kılıç assessed the memorandum signed by Ankara, Stockholm and Helsinki on the processes for the accession of the two Nordic countries to NATO.

Kılıç said that by applying for NATO membership due to of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Sweden and Finland have changed their policy of neutrality, which they have adhered to today, adding that the final stage of the launched diplomatic process was the signing of a memorandum at the NATO summit in Madrid, Daily Sabah writes.

In this context, a written statement was agreed and the Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Sweden and Finland signed this MOU, Kılıç explained, stressing that the agreement put the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) back on the agenda as the group was written in the tripartite memorandum as terrorist organization.

Noting that Sweden and Finland also agreed to fight the PKK and its “subsidiaries”, including its Syrian offshoot YPG, Kılıç said: “Most importantly, FETÖ (the movement of Fethullah Gülen supporters) is referred to as a “terrorist organization” for the first time in an international document. FETÖ was included in the international memorandum of understanding as a terrorist organization in the sense that Turkey considers it.”

Kılıç noted that the memorandum clearly shows Turkey's wishes and determination in the fight against terrorism, as well as a message about that NATO allies support Ankara in the fight against existential threats.

Stressing that the signing of the memorandum does not mean that Sweden and Finland can immediately begin the process of joining NATO, Kılıç said: “The negotiation process will continue for some time and will eventually be submitted to parliaments. This is a process that must go through the parliaments of all NATO allies. The memorandum is the beginning of this work.”

The Turkish politician emphasized that the countries that signed the memorandum assumed written obligations. “If you fail to meet these obligations, sorry, you will not be told that you are a man of your word, and we cannot trust you in any so-called agreement that we come up with. Failure to comply with the memorandum costs much more than its enforcement. Because trust will be lost, your words will not matter. There is a process that begins in this sense. We will monitor whether the guarantees given in writing are being followed.”

The agreement signed with Finland and Sweden to lift Turkey's veto on their NATO membership applications is not the end of the matter and obliges the Scandinavian states to keep their promises, President Erdogan said earlier.

He said there was no need to rush with the ratification of applications in Parliament. According to the Turkish president, Ankara should first check whether Sweden and Finland will fulfill the promises made under the memorandum, including the extradition of suspects wanted by Turkey.

“Without the approval of our parliament, this will not come into force. So there is no need to rush,” Erdogan scared the Swedes and Finns.

Sweden and Finland must honor promises made to Ankara as part of the deal regarding their NATO membership bid, including Stockholm's promise to extradite 73 “terrorists,” the Turkish leader said.

“We strongly emphasized that we expect genuine solidarity from our allies not only in word but also in deed,” Erdogan told reporters after the Madrid summit of the US-led military bloc.

The applications of Sweden and Finland for membership in the North Atlantic Alliance were delayed until the last moment by Turkey, which sought guarantees that the Nordic countries would join Turkey's fight against Kurdish groups, which Ankara considers terrorist, and quickly extradite the suspects. The dispute was resolved by a 10-point memorandum that appears to address many of Turkey's terrorism concerns and lift the arms embargo on Ankara in response to the 2019 Turkish military operation in Syria. But Erdogan said he now expects the two countries to honor the deal in full.

Erdogan threatened Sweden and Finland that he could still block their bid to join NATO if they failed to implement the new deal with Ankara. If these countries do not keep the promises made to Turkey, support for their application will not be sent to the Turkish Parliament for ratification. Applications of new countries for membership in the Alliance must be approved by all NATO member states and ratified by the respective parliaments of the countries.

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Biden sent a report to Congress on the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO

Sweden and Finland decided to join NATO against the backdrop of a Russian special operation in Ukraine. At the end of June, they were officially invited to join the alliance

Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden sent reports to the relevant congressional committees on the issue of accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO, the press service of the White House reported. This procedure is necessary for the ratification of the protocol on the entry of these countries into the alliance.

The reports are prepared in accordance with the requirements of the protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty on the accession of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in 1998. The report should, in particular, provide information on the fulfillment of security requirements for NATO membership and an assessment of the work of potential members in protecting intelligence activities and methods of its work.

Sweden and Finland announced their desire to join NATO after the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine. Applications were submitted in May, but Turkey became an obstacle to entry, accusing the Scandinavian countries of harboring terrorists on its territory, in particular members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (in Turkey it is recognized as terrorist).

At the end of June, a NATO summit, where a meeting was held with the participation of Turkey, Sweden and Finland, following which Ankara approved the entry of the latter two into the alliance. After that, NATO officially invited Sweden and Finland to join the military bloc.

For their entry, it is necessary that all 30 member countries of the alliance ratify the corresponding agreement. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Turkish parliament would not consider this issue until Sweden and Finland fulfill their promises to Ankara. In particular, he announced Sweden's guarantees to extradite more than 70 terrorists to Turkey, as well as to amend the legislation on terrorist organizations.

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