Finland will close its borders to Russian tourists from Friday midnight local time (5 p.m. ET) until further notice amid a record number of Russians crossing into the country following Moscow's partial mobilization order, the government confirmed Thursday.
On September 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the immediate "partial mobilization" of citizens for its war in Ukraine.
Since then, there has been an exodus of citizens fleeing the country and thousands of Russians have entered neighboring Finland.
"The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the mobilization declared by Russia have changed the security situation in Europe," Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Thursday.
"The Government deems that the Russian mobilization and the rapidly increasing volume of tourists arriving in Finland and transiting via Finland endanger Finland’s international position and international relations."
"The resolution aims to stop tourism and related transit from Russia altogether. It will drastically limit the capacity to receive visa applications in Russia," the ministry added.
"The resolution will not prevent travelling when it is deemed necessary for humanitarian reasons, for national interests or for meeting Finland’s international obligations."
Some context: The announcement comes after Helsinki announced Wednesday it would "significantly" restrict the right of Russian tourists to enter the country or as transit when travelling to other parts of the Schengen area.
Finland’s border guard also said Wednesday that more than 50,000 Russians have entered Finland via the land border since September 21.
Last weekend also saw a record number of Russians entering Finland via its land border, with 16,886 Russians arriving in total over Saturday and Sunday, according to the border guard’s head of international affairs, Matti Pitkaniitty.