Finland and russia
Helsinki / Riga (EuroEFE) – The Finnish government agreed on Tuesday to reduce by 90% the issuance of visas to Russian citizens compared to current levels from September, as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told the press that once this measure comes into force, Finnish consular services in Russia will only accept a tenth of the approximately 1,000 visa applications they receive daily.
At the same time, they will review current consular practices to facilitate the granting of humanitarian visas to Russian citizens critical of the war in Ukraine who want to leave Russia, such as human rights activists or journalists.
For its part, the Latvian government announced Tuesday that it is abandoning an agreement with Russia to facilitate cross-border travel and visa issuance for citizens of both countries that dates back to 1993.
Although Latvia has already stopped issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens due to the invasion of Ukraine and only accepts visitors from that country in special circumstances, the cancellation of the 1993 agreement will remove the formal obligations to facilitate freedom of movement between Russia and the Baltic country.
Map of finland and russia
The city of Viborg, Russia, is located in the Leningrad region on the east coast of the Gulf of Finland, 120 kilometers from St. Petersburg. Founded by Swedes and maintaining a distinctly European style even to this day, it is best known for Viborg Castle, which used to be a strategic fortress that served as a regulator between the Russians and the Scandinavians.
The city prospered largely thanks to its strategic position and the important role that trade played in its economy. During the Great Northern War in 1710, Peter I’s troops occupied the citadel in the famous Siege of Viborg, a decisive victory which virtually eliminated the threat to St. Petersburg from its northern neighbors. From then on, the city belonged to Russia until 1917 when, after the Russian Revolution, it became part of Finland. In accordance with the peace treaty signed after World War II, Viborg was returned to Russia and remains under its control to this day.
Currently there is just the 1 ferry route between Finland and Russia operated by 1 ferry company – St Peter Line. The Helsinki to St Petersburg ferry crossing operates weekly with sailing durations from about 14 hours 0 minutes.
Russia is a land of snow and deadly winters, but also of rivers meandering through meadows and a summer sun that never sets. Its people, in the words of a Russian proverb, “love to suffer,” yet they also enjoy parties and can be incredibly generous and hospitable.
St. Petersburg to Finland
I made a series of articles about my experience called My trip to Russia. If you want to know what we were recommended to visit in the three days we were there, those are the most interesting and emblematic places.
We sent our passport in early and they arranged our visa to Russia relatively quickly. After that, it was a smooth trip with many funny anecdotes that I tell in that series of posts.
But what if you want to go to Russia without a visa? A visa takes time, is expensive and you really only take advantage of it if you go for a long time. To go sightseeing for a couple of days – to go more, of course, it is better to contact the Russian embassy in Madrid and arrange a visa – you can travel without a visa to Russia.
In countries bordering Russia, such as Finland (but also Sweden, for example) you do not need a visa for Russia if you go with certain cruise lines. The best known is St. Peter Line. They have a physical office in Helsinki, at Pieni Roobertinkatu 13 B and if you pass by there maybe they can make you a good offer.