Finland prolongs closure of border with Russia until mid-April

Stock photo: getty Images
Stock photo: getty Images

The Finnish government has adopted a decision to keep checkpoints on the ground border between Finland and Russia closed until 14 April 2024 due to Russia’s use of migrants in its "hybrid operation".

Source: European Pravda with reference to Yle

Quote from Mari Rantanen, Minister of Internal Affairs of Finland: "The information we’ve obtained confirms that Russia continues its hybrid operation. There are reasons to believe that this will be a long-term situation. At least a hundred or, maybe, a thousand migrants are near the Russian border waiting for the opportunity to continue their path to Finland."

Details: The adopted decision extends the period of full closure of the eastern Finnish border for two months. The Finnish Internal Ministry explained that further closure of the border is necessary and proportional in the current situations.

The ministry thinks that this is a serious threat to the national security and civil order caused by instrumentalized immigration.

Taking into account the information from different officials, migrants will most likely continue arriving from Russia if checkpoints are open on the eastern border.

The ministry assesses that the number of migrants arriving through the eastern border would vary from 10,000 to 20,000 asylum seekers a year if there were no limitations.

Helsinki stressed that the Russian side reacted to the proposals of border guard services to hold negotiations and regulate the situation quite calmly.

Background:

  • Last weekend, Petteri Orpo, Prime Minister of Finland, said that the eastern Finnish border with Russia would remain closed since border security of the country is a top priority.

  • The Finnish-Ukrainian border was first closed in November 2023.

  • In January, several dozen people who then sought asylum in Finland crossed the border through rugged terrain.

  • None of the migrant asylum seekers who entered Finland through the border with Russia has yet received a positive decision.

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