Poll reveals number of Finns opposing tourist visas for Russians
More than half of Finns want their country to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens, a poll by Finland’s state broadcaster Yle has shown.
Some 58% of respondents favour such a move, 24% are against, and 18% are undecided, according to the study, published on Thursday,
The poll, in which a thousand Finns were questioned in early August, also revealed that most of those in favor of banning Russian tourists were men aged between 50 and 64.
Russia and Finland share a 1,340-kilometer (832-mile) land border, with the Nordic nation being a popular destination for Russians, for holidays and shopping.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, some 20,000 people crossed into Finland from Russia on a daily basis. Visitor numbers plummeted due to Covid-related travel restrictions in 2020, but have been on the rise since both countries lifted the curbs in mid-July this year.
Serveral Finnish lawmakers have called for a tightening of visa rules for Russians in response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.
Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto is expected to discuss the visa issue with the government on Thursday, according to the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper.