Thursday, March 06, 2008

Mishah is very angry.

His blog entry on what's happened is here (RUS). The language he's using isn't too gentle, but he's been through so much crap today, plus he's a Scorpio, so I wouldn't judge him too harshly.

Here's my translation of the essence of his post:


[...] [The Finns] didn't allow me to enter the EU because I had been planning to spend most of the time in Italy, not [in Finland]. Judging by the papers that I've signed - they are banning me more or less forever. At some point, I felt like asking for a lawyer and for a Ukrainian-language interpreter - something that was totally my right - but I wasn't too excited about the prospect of spending a couple nights at an airport quarter the size of Sheremetyevo, especially considering the exhaustion of the past few weeks. [...]

Also, here's an informative comment by LJ user remetalk, an award-winning St. Pete photographer Sergei Maximishin - whose wonderful work you can see here:

Oooooo, how relevant! For the past week, I've been going to the Italian consulate as if it's my job, bringing them [all kinds of] papers. The gallery that's inviting me for an exhibition in Milan is already [sick] of sending faxes. Today they've told me everything is almost okay, and all I have to do now is come to the consulate tomorrow and show [them] 270 euros. According to some calculations of their, this is exactly how much I need in order not to starve in Italy [during my 5-day stay]. [...]


  1. I understand why Mishah's mad at the Finns, but I don't think they're the ones most to blame here. It's the Italians, who didn't give him a visa to go where he wanted to in the first place, and the rules of the Schengen system as a whole.

    In St. Petersburg, with its close proximity to Finland, it's common knowledge (among people who travel) that a Finnish visa is the easiet to get, but that you can't screw around - if you plan to use your Finnish visa to travel elsewhere in Schengen, you have to spend as many days in Finland as in the destination country. The Finns are relatively generous about giving visas to Russians (I know Mishah's not Russian, but I assume the same rules apply) because they get tons of tourist and shopping money from visitors from the SPb area. But, understandably, they don't want to be taken advantage of, and they have also gotten criticism from other Schengen countries for giving out visas too liberally.

    So... don't be to hard on Finland. The system as a whole is really discriminatory, but Finland is the least Russophobic Schengen country and I give them credit for that.

  2. I'm not blaming Finns as a whole, some of the guards were friendly; the translator seemed to be ashamed; they did not put me in a cell, they let me walk around the airport freely, drinking beer, etc. The lady at the duty free could not believe what she heard when, after my 6th beer, I told her my story. She was saying that she was sorry, that it was a shame for her country and was screwing the whole idea of European Union.