Finland in pain as border closure blocks Russian tourists

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) — The closure of Finland’s border with Russia amid the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the Nordic nation’s eastern border region hard. It’s put an abrupt stop to visits by the nearly 2 million Russian visitors who prop up the local economy each year. Finland shares a 1,340-kilometer (832-mile) land border with Russia in what is one of the European Union’s longest external borders. In a situation unseen since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the border was shut down both by Helsinki and Moscow in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. There’s little hope the border will be open for the crucial summer tourist season, given the sustained level of coronavirus infections in Russia.