According to, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said the border would be closed to Russians traveling to Finland for tourism or for transit purposes “until further notice.” The border closed at midnight on Thursday [midday Friday NZ time].

Entry to Russians for family visits, as well as for work and studies, will still be permitted, as will the transporting of essential materials.

The government said the decision was taken following talks with Ukraine, fears that Russians were circumventing the EU’s flight restrictions, and because of Finland’s relations with the Baltic states and Poland.

The inflow of Russians could endanger Finland’s international relations, Haavisto said, according to public broadcaster Yle.

Finland cut the number of tourist visas issued to Russians by 90 percent in early September.

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have already started to implement entry restrictions for Russian citizens travelling solely for the purpose of tourism or leisure.

Discriminating against people because of their national origin is illegal under NZ law, but clearly that’s not the case in EU countries.