Finland’s consulate general in St. Petersburg, one of the largest embassies in the network of Finnish embassies, ceased operations on October 1 of this year following Russia’s decision in July to revoke its license.
At the same time, when its license was revoked last month, Russia expelled nine Finnish diplomats, while ownership of the consulate building remained with Finland. As of September 1, all consular and migration matters were transferred to the Finnish Embassy in Moscow.
Previously, the Ministry noted that with the ban now in force, entry into Finland with a car registered in Russia would only be allowed for EU citizens permanently residing in Russia together with their family members, diplomats, and individuals traveling for humanitarian purposes, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The same authority also emphasized that vehicles with Russian license plates already present in Finland before the decision’s entry into force must leave the country by March 16, 2024. Estonia has also banned entry into the country for vehicles with Russian license plates.
According to the Ministry, the Finnish consulate general in St. Petersburg and the embassy in Moscow saw their accounts frozen in April. Subsequently, a new account was created for the embassy in a selected Russian bank, and the funds from the frozen accounts were transferred to this new account.
The history of the Finnish Consulate General in the region dates back to its operation in Petrograd and later in Leningrad from 1923 to 1938. The country re-established the Consulate General in Leningrad in 1967.
During the early 1990s, offices were established in Petrozavodsk and Murmansk. Earlier this year, Finland decided to close both of these offices temporarily. In May 2023, Russia officially announced the permanent closure of these offices.
Over the past few years, the Consulate in Saint Petersburg has granted more visas to Russian nationals and residents than any other Finnish consulate in Russia.
Source: Schengenvisa News