Home Travel & Adventure Finland Raises Alarm Over Rising ‘Hybrid Influence’ Amid Russia’s Visa Negotiations: Heightened...

Finland Raises Alarm Over Rising ‘Hybrid Influence’ Amid Russia’s Visa Negotiations: Heightened Concerns Sparked


A member of the Finnish parliament has voiced his concerns over Russia’s true intentions after the latter announced visa-waiver negotiations with 11 countries from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

According to Jarno Limnell, a Member of the Finnish Parliament, new elections in Russia can fuel more hybrid influence tools, implying that visa waiver negotiations are among those, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

If this matter is true, it’s certainly aimed at facilitating people’s access to Russia, and one reason may be this hybrid influencing and directing people towards the [Finnish] border. 

Jarno Limnell, Member of the Finnish Parliament

Allowing visa-free travel to nationals of these countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, who are historically among the top asylum applicants in the EU, might put the EU’s external borders at risk of increased irregular migration.

Limnell also told Ilta-Sanomat that after Russia’s latest elections and Putin winning another mandate, hybrid influence in Western countries can intensify.

Unfortunately, such threats must be taken into account at this time, and we must remember how quickly the situation on the eastern border can change when the snow melts and spring comes. The situation on the eastern border should be taken seriously.


Russia Talks Visa-Free Agreements With Persian Gulf Countries Too

According to TASS, Maria Zakharova, the Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, has announced that Russia is considering lifting visa requirements for 11 countries from three regions: Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Concerning plans to expand the list of countries with which we have mutual visa-free travel, we certainly have them. Currently, negotiations are underway with a number of Asian, African, and Middle Eastern countries. 

Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman

Although no specific countries were mentioned, a previous statement revealed that agreements were being discussed for Barbados, Haiti, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, Mexico, Malaysia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Zambia.

Mikhail Bogdanov, Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa, said on March 19 that Russia is working to lift visa requirements with all Persian Gulf countries, which include Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman.

Russia’s Moves Can Remind Europeans of the Belarus 2021 Migration Crisis

A similar situation occurred in 2021 with Belarus. After Aleksandr Lukashenko was elected as President for the sixth consecutive time, anti-government protests broke out in the entire country, which were fought back by even more violent methods by the authorities.

By the half of the year (June 2021), more irregular migrants were reaching the EU through the joint border of Belarus with Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.

According to the “Instrumentalized Migration and the Belarus Crisis: Strategies of Legal Coercion” report, the number of irregular border crossing attempts to enter Poland stood at 3,500 in August, rose to 7,700 in September and 17,300 in October 2021.

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