13,065 Russian citizens crossed the North Karelia border between Russia and Finland in September, meaning that the number of Russians crossing the border increased by nearly 40 percent compared to the same month in 2020.
Meanwhile, 3,278 Finns crossed the border in September, compared to 768 Finns who crossed in September last year, TheSchengen.com reports.
According to the Finnish Border Guard Service (RAJA), while Russians made up 77.5 percent of total border-crossers in September at the North Karelia border, Finns made up 19.5 percent, and the remaining (524) were citizens of other countries.
The border guards claimed in an October 1 press release that “the increase in traffic is due to changes in travel restrictions,” while also noting that no unauthorized border crossings were detected in this period.
However, North Karelian border guards issued three fines and one reprimand last month after discovering one state border crime, two small state border crimes, as well as one possession of a cybercrime tool and one foreign crime.
Currently, travel from Russia to Finland is only allowed for those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with one of the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). However, since the majority of Russians have been vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine, which has not yet been approved by the EMA, this means that only Russians traveling to Finland for essential purposes are allowed to enter the country.
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According to the current entry rules, the following people can enter Finland from Russia:
Those who arrive in the country for work that is important to the functioning of society or to provide security for health care and rescue personnel who specialize in the care of the elderly during assignments Transport and logistics personnel in their work Diplomats and personnel of international organizations and humanitarian aid workers and the military in the exercise of their duties Representatives of the government participating in international negotiations Those engaged in work INGOs have humanitarian reasons, urgent family issues
In mid-September, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that visa application centers would open in Russia sometime in October for work visa applications for applicants with a multiple-entry Schengen visa, which has been issued by Finland and valid for at least two years. , has expired.
Applications for other special client groups that have so far been approved by visa centers in Finland will also continue to be accepted.