Finnish town Kotka proposed a 72-hour visa-free regime with Russia
Kotka Administration sent to the State Council of Finland a proposal to introduce a 72-hour visa-free regime for citizens of Russia. It is assumed that the effect of a visa-free regime will apply to Russian citizens, who arrive to Kotka on ferries. "This initiative should strengthen the development of the ferry service between St. Petersburg and Kotka, and increase the intensity of tourists' flow between Russia and Finland. The first phase is proposed to introduce a visa-free regime for the period 2017-2020 years, and the action mode to extend only to those tourists who arrive in these city by sea," a statement said. It also notes that foreigners who come to St. Petersburg on cruise ships and ferries, can stay in Russia without a visa for 72 hours. This rule applies only to organized tourist groups. According to Russian Statistics Service, the number of tourists from Russia to Finland last year fell by 33.4% compared to 2014 and amounted to 252.4 thousand tourists. In the pre-crisis 2013, this figure exceeded 900 thousand people.