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Border Guard: Number of Russians entering Finland drops by 90% in one week

Less than 900 Russian citizens arrived in Finland via the eastern border on Monday, compared to over 7,000 on Monday last week.

File photo. Image: Kalle Purhonen / Yle

A total of 884 Russian citizens entered Finland on Monday 3 October, according to figures provided by the Finnish Border Guard on Tuesday morning.

This latest figure represents a drop of some 90 percent when compared to the 7,747 Russian nationals who arrived in Finland on Monday last week.

The Border Guard's figures also revealed that about 2,500 Russians entered Finland over the past weekend, significantly down from the nearly 17,000 who arrived on the weekend of 24-25 September immediately after Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement of partial mobilisation.

However, Finland closed its border to Russian tourists on Friday last week.

"The aim of the resolution is to halt Russian tourism into Finland and transit through Finland into other Schengen countries. In the resolution the government notes that the entry of Russian citizens for tourism purposes into Finland endangers Finland's international relations," Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) said at the time.

This week's episode of All Points North explores the security considerations following Finland's decision to restrict the entry of Russian tourists. You can listen to the full podcast using the embedded player here, via Yle Areena, on Spotify or via the options found in this article.

Russian nationals are still permitted to enter Finland under special conditions, such as work or to visit family members. Russians can also apply for asylum, but military service or mobilisation does not directly constitute grounds for the granting of international asylum.

Since the resolution entered into force on Friday, just under 600 Russian nationals have been refused entry into Finland, the Border Guard's figures revealed.

In addition, there are now more people leaving Finland for Russia than entering Finland from Russia. Nearly 2,000 people left Finland for Russia on Monday, of whom just over 1,300 were Russian citizens.

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