On Thursday, Joulupukki, the Finnish Father Christmas, visited the Finnish embassy in Moscow. Joulupukki said he had come to Moscow just for two days, in particular, to congratulate clients of the visa department, their future guests, who are going to celebrate Christmas in Finland or to spend their holidays there. He speaks good Russian, still he preferred to communicate with the press by means of an interpreter. "The greatest influx of Russian tourists to Finland falls on November and December," Finnish ambassador to Russia Rene Nyrberg told a RIA Novosti correspondent. According to him, Russian visitors to Finland are ranked second after Swedes. The ambassador added that the number of tourists was rapidly growing. Thus, this year the number of Russian tourists was 15 percent higher than in 2000.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated