After the partial mobilization by Russia of 300,000 reservists for the war in Ukraine, neighboring Finland is registering more traffic on its common border. There are also queues at the border with Georgia. Meanwhile, prices for international flights from Moscow have risen significantly.
Belga, Reuters, BBC
Read all the developments about the war in Ukraine at our profile.
According to Matti Petkniti, international affairs chief of the Finnish Border Guard, a total of 4,824 Russians arrived in Finland via the border on Wednesday. On the same day last week there were 3,133.
Previously, the border guards had denied the existence of social media posts about 35 kilometers of traffic jams in front of the Russian-Finnish border. The videos that were supposed to show this history were said to be from the past and taken out of context.
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto announced that his country will find its own solution to the issue of Russian tourist visas. “Finland does not want to become a transit country for Schengen visas issued by other countries,” Haavisto said on public channel Yle on Wednesday evening. So Finland will take a tougher attitude towards Russian citizens, although the border with Russia will not be completely closed. She says there are still legitimate reasons to enter Finland.
Finland has a 1,340 km border with Russia. This means that the Scandinavian country has by far the longest border with Russia among the member states of the European Union. Despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian tourists are still able to enter the Schengen area by car or bus across the Finnish border.
There are also kilometers of traffic jams on the border with Georgia, according to the BBC. Georgia is one of the few countries where Russians do not require a visa.
Ticket prices for flights from Moscow have risen to more than 5,000 euros for a one-way ticket to the nearest locations abroad. Tickets for the next few days were completely sold out with most airlines.
A source in the tourism industry told Reuters that people are desperately looking for airline tickets to get out of Russia. “There is a panic order from people who are afraid that they won’t be able to leave the country later. People buy tickets, and they don’t care where they go,” it seems.
Groups have been created on social media where people give advice on ways to leave Russia. A news website also created a list of “places you can escape away from Russia right now”.
Unlimited free access to Showbytes? And that can!
Log in or create an account and never miss any of the stars.
“Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert.”