Lazy eyes listen
According to data supplied by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), Finland’s residents made the greatest number of travels to Russia in the first half of 2023.
According to the data, the number of Finns traveling to Russia has more than tripled since the first half of last year. Nordic citizens entered Russia 47,300 times in the first six months of 2023, up from barely 14,000 in the same period in 2022.
Estonia came in second on the FSB list, with its nationals visiting Russia 47,100 times in the first half of this year. In contrast to the previous year, the number of arrivals from the Baltic States more than doubled.
Germany came in third with 36,300 visitors. Germans continued to be the largest EU tourist group in Russia this year, accounting for 45% of all tourist arrivals. According to the FSB data, 17,500 of the 38,500 reported EU tourist visits were made by Germans. With 5,700 visits, Poles became the second-largest EU tourist group.
The FSB data does not show the precise number of EU residents who visited Russia this year because each entrance is treated as a distinct one in its statistics, even if the same person entered Russia many times during the reporting period.
As part of its sanctions campaign against Moscow over its military incursion in Ukraine, the EU increased visa restrictions for Russians in the autumn of 2022. The EU halted its visa facilitation arrangement with Moscow in September. Later that month, it imposed new restrictions, prohibiting Russians from applying for short-term EU visas from third-party nations.
Those who intend to stay in the EU for more than 90 days should not be granted a visa, according to Ylva Johansson, the EU’s home affairs commissioner at the time. Some EU countries went even further, including Finland and the Baltic states.
In the autumn of 2022, Helsinki will block its borders to Russians with Schengen tourist visas. It increased the restrictions even further in early July 2023, prohibiting Russians going to Schengen Area countries for business purposes from transiting through its borders. Those wishing to enter Finnish territory would also be required to provide a “justified reason” for their presence on the country’s soil.
The Baltic states have stated that they will not give humanitarian visas to Russian nationals until the autumn of 2022.