Many Russians are trying to emigrate to neighboring Finland because of the partial mobilization due to the war against Ukraine. The southeastern border with Russia is crowded. “A lot is still happening this morning…maybe a little more than yesterday,” a border guard spokesman said early Friday morning. However, the EU member state wants to prevent most Russians from entering the country.
As early as Thursday, the number of Russian citizens entering the country more than doubled compared to the previous week.
The longest queue formed at the busy Vaalimaa border crossing. There the cars were backed up over a length of about 500 meters. The queues were also “longer than usual” at the second largest border crossing, Nuijamaa.
No entry through Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland
However, the Helsinki government is considering entry restrictions for Russian citizens. “The will of the government is very clear, we believe that Russian tourism should be stopped, as well as transit through Finland,” Prime Minister Sanna Marin said. Finnish border crossings are among the few entry points for Russians to Europe. The EU countries Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, which also border Russia, have been banning Russian citizens from the borders for a few days now.
After the recent setbacks in the war in Ukraine, the Russian government announced on Wednesday morning that it would call up 300,000 reservists. This has led to fears that certain groups of military-aged men might not be able to leave the country. Wednesday there was a run on flights abroad. Direct flights from Moscow to Istanbul in Turkey and Yerevan in Armenia – where visa-free travel is allowed – sold out online.