Friday, May 24, 2024

Finland closes border with Russia – POLITICO

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Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo announced on Tuesday that the country would completely close its border with Russia for two weeks after a surge in asylum seekers were crossing the border.

“This is a Russian influence operation and we do not approve of it,” Olpo said at a press conference, according to Finland’s Helsingin Sanomat news agency. The two-week border closure will take effect from Wednesday night until Thursday night and end on December 13, the paper said.

Helsinki’s move follows a decision by the European border agency Frontex last week to deploy border guards and other personnel and equipment to strengthen Finland’s border security operations, as Finland accuses Moscow of fueling the migrant influx. I received what was given to me. Tensions between the two countries have increased since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in 2022, prompting Finland to join the NATO military alliance.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday accused Russia of using migration as a means of putting pressure on Finland. “NATO stands in solidarity with our ally Finland,” he said.

Late last week, the Finnish newspaper Iltaleti reported that the Russian embassy had started issuing visas for people to enter Russia from the Horn of Africa and then continue their journey to the Finnish border with the support of security services in Moscow.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied the claims, and Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Finland’s previous decision to close a number of checkpoints on its border with Russia was “unequivocally” provocative.

In 2021, as Belarus plans to send thousands of migrants from the Middle East to the EU, Poland has repelled attempts by asylum seekers to cross its eastern border. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen accused Minsk of orchestrating a “hybrid attack” on the region.

This story has been updated.

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