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The arrival of Russians in Finland increases by 57% after Putin’s announcement of mobilization

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The arrival of Russian citizens to the neighboring Finland by highway It increased 57% this Wednesday, the day President Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization of 300,000 reservists to fight in the war in Ukraine, the Finnish Border Guard reported Thursday.

Throughout the day a total of 4,403 Russian citizens crossed the border of Southeastern Finlandthe busiest due to its proximity to St. Petersburg, according to border authorities.

“Border traffic intensified overnight at border points in south-eastern Finland and there were more arrivals into the country than normal. Inbound traffic has also remained heavy this morning,” the Border Guard tweeted.

According to border authorities, the situation is under control despite the sudden increase in traffic from Russia, although they will closely monitor its evolution to see if this trend continues.

Finland has practically become the only country of entry for Russian citizens to the European Union (EU), due to the closure of airspace to Russian aircraft and virtual blockade of the land borders of the Baltic republics and Poland nationals of that country as a result of the war in Ukraine.

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Visas valid for the entire Schengen area

The Nordic country has joined the European sanctions and has reduced the issuance of visas to Russian citizens by 90%although for the moment he has not decreed a total veto because he was waiting for the EU to coordinate a joint response.

With air and rail connections severed, thousands of Russians continue to arrive in Finland daily by road, most of them crossing the four border posts in southeastern Finland (Vaalimaa, Nuijamaa, Imatra and Niirala).

All Russians arriving in the Nordic country have a visa valid for the entire Schengen areaso many continue their trip to other European destinations.

For this reason, and in the absence of a European agreement on the granting of visas to Russian citizens, the Finnish Foreign Minister, Pekka Haavisto, announced on Wednesday that his government is considering further tightening the entry of Russian nationals.

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Finland does not want to be a transit country for Schengen visas issued by other countries,” Haavisto told reporters.

Serbia, another destination for the Russians

On the other handSerbia has also become a destination for many Russian citizens who have decided to leave the country one day after the announcement of the mobilization of 300,000 reservists by Putin.

Dozens of them are arriving by plane with a suitcase as their only luggage and with no certainty about when they will return.

The concern about being recruited for war has become present in a large part of the Russian population and fear is making many leave the country without a return ticket.

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