Finland for visa-free regime between EU and Russia


Finland will step up the push for a full visa-free regime between the European Union and Russia, Finland’s Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb indicated in an article published in Russia’s Vedomosti daily. Mr Stubb, who is on an official visit to Moscow, said abolishing the need for visas for Russian nationals depended on Russia’s removal of the obligatory registration of foreign visitors and easing the rules on work permits to foreigners. Russia has called for a visa-free regime with the EU for years. Finland issues more visas to Russian citizens than any other EU country.

“Finland had no difficulty [in joining the Schengen Agreement], given that the Nordic countries had abolished the need for passports in cross-border travel back in 1952. The free movement of people is an integral part of the vision of the future that Finland strives towards as a member of the European Union,” Mr Stubb wrote. “The question of simplified procedures for border crossing with Russia, our biggest neighbour, is especially important for Finland. […] Finland wants a visa-free regime between the EU and Russia. We will do our utmost to reach this goal.”

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