Tanner made his announcement after Finland decided not to join the Baltic and Polish countries in restricting the entry of Russian tourists on Schengen visas issued by other countries.
Responding to those who expected, that Finland would also impose an entry ban on tourists from Russia, Tanner said: the cancellation of visas for citizens of the same nationality is not in line with the rule of law.
“Why is Finland not preparing a visa ban for Russian citizens? Public authorities must always strictly comply with the law, and we do not think that a complete ban on visa (or entry) for one nationality is compatible with the law, — Tanner wrote on social media.
According to Tanner, the legislation implies that every visa application and every person at the border must be assessed based on the criteria established by law, and on a case-by-case basis. This question cannot be interpreted arbitrarily by the authorities.
Regarding questions about the country's security, Tanner said that Finland does not consider every Russian citizen a threat to public order and security.
“What about security? The Finnish authorities do not consider every Russian citizen a threat to our public order or security. Some people do bad things, but we successfully fight these threats with the help of other tools. But not by general bans at the border, », — Tanner said in a statement.
However, Finland has already capped the number of tourist visa applications for Russians to 10 percent, emphasizing that tourism from Russia cannot continue as usual.
The Baltic States and Poland announced earlier this month that they agreed to stop issuing Schengen visas to Russians and ban them from entering their territory from September 19. However, it was emphasized that this measure would be temporary.
Other countries are expected to tighten their rules for Russian citizens applying for Schengen visas, as the Council of the EU just recently decided to suspend the agreement completely on visa facilitation with Russia.
Russians applying for a Schengen visa will now have to pay a fee of 80 euros instead of the previous 35. In addition, they will be required to provide additional documents and face longer processing times and stricter visa rules.