Finnish border guards at checkpoints on the south-eastern border have stopped letting people arriving from Russia on bicycles into the country.
Source: European Pravda, citing Finnish TV and radio company Yle
Details: Jukka Lukkari, Deputy Commander of the Southeast Finland Border Guard, said illegal immigrants have been trying to enter Finland on bikes more and more frequently.
"There have been nearly 30 cases within the last week. The frequency is clearly increasing," he said.
Lukkari stated that previously, people only cycled across the border if they were going on short local trips.
"Now people are trying to cross the border without the necessary documents, without functional bike lights or helmets," he explained.
When the Finnish authorities noticed the increasing quantity of cyclists, they decided to address the issue. Since last Thursday, people have not been able to enter Finland from Russia on bikes through border crossings in the south-east of the country.
"From Finland’s point of view, it is entirely fair to focus [border] control on automotive vehicles. This will enable us to better control the traffic on the border," Lukkari noted.
Russian media outlets, such as Fontanka from St Petersburg, were the first to report on the situation.
Finland has already banned Russian cars from entering. The Finnish border guard service announced in September that cars registered in Russia would no longer be allowed to enter Finland.
About 3,000 people a day cross the eastern border in both directions through checkpoints in south-eastern Finland.
By the end of September this year, just under 3,200 asylum seekers had arrived in Finland.
Over the last few years, Finland has been preparing for a situation in which Russia starts a hybrid operation against Finland by sending a large number of asylum seekers to the border. Russia conducted such an operation on the Finnish border in 2015, when many asylum seekers arrived in Finland from Russia.