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21 May 2019

Finns Party Euro Candidate Wants Finland to Leave Schengen for Visa-Free Travel With Russia

Olli KotroA member of the Finnish populist political party, called the Finns party, claims he wants to scrap the Schengen visa agreement, so that Finland can create visa-free travel with Russia instead.

Olli Kotro, who is a candidate of Finns Party for the upcoming European Parliament Elections said so during an interview with a pro-Kremlin Media outlet. He also said that he believes that Finland should be neutral instead of allying with the West.

Finland must withdraw from the Schengen Treaty and create a special visa-free zone with Russia in the style of the American ESTA,” he said during the interview with Eurasia Daily.

He also said that he believes Finland should operate a special foreign policy for Russia, separately from the rest of the EU.

Finland is ready for dialogue with Russia without instructions from Brussels,” he said citing Italy and Hungary as countries building relationships with Moscow.

He also said that the Finnish cooperation with NATO will give conflicting signals and will not improve the security situation of the country. Moreover, Kotro unfolded his idea to create a joint Finnish-Russian university to get bilingual diplomas.

Immediately after the interview was published, Kotro faced widespread criticism. He later said that he did not demand full visa free travel with Russia, but what he meant was that the visa-free travel could be extended to a small number of people who make regular border crossings.

If we were not in the Schengen area, we could make certain arrangements with some states. Here I have mentioned, by way of example, that visa-free travel between Finland and Russia could concern a small number of people who often cross the border. This would facilitate trading,” he said.

Kotro’s Fins Party signed up in April to form a pan-European alliance with Italy’s League, Denmark’s People’s Party and Germany’s far right opposition party AfD.

Constructing a better and safer Europe with patriots!” Kotro tweeted at the time.

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