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Finland will shut border to Russian tourists from midnight

crossings from russia at the vaalimaa border station in finland
Finnish border guards stand amid Russian vehicles at the Vaalimaa border check point in Virolahti, Finland

Finland will close its border to Russian tourists from midnight local time (2100 GMT), which is expected to lead to a significant drop in cross-border traffic, the government said on Thursday.

The inflow of Russians is now seen as endangering Finland’s international relations, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told a news conference.

Entry for family visits, as well as for work and studies, will still be permitted, he added.

The Finnish government, wary of being a transit nation into western Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone, on Friday said it planned to halt tourism from Russia and that a decision would be finalised in the days that followed.

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