Finland to open visa centre in Tatarstan

The country’s President Tarja Halonen announced during her visit to the Russian city that Finland will open a visa centre in March 2011in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan. It is a part of Halonen’s four-day state visit to Russia.

Speaking with republican President Rustam Minnikhanov, Halonen said that the visa center will be opened in order to “make relations between people easier, more comfortable and closer“. -Nothing can replace communication between people, she stressed.

The Finnish President also told journalists that Finland will do whatever it can to help introduce visa-free traveling between Russia and the EU, but admitted that this is a very complicated process.

Russian tourists have for several years been the largest group of foreign travelers to Finland. In 2010, Finland will grant nearly one million visas to Russian businessmen and tourists, more than any other EU country. Furthermore, over 80 per cent of the visas will be multiple entry visas.