Thursday, February 22, 2024

Finland closes entire border with Russia again due to influx of migrants at two borders

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Traffic passing through the Finnish-Russian Valimaa border station in Vilorati, Finland, December 13, 2023. Lehtikuva/Heikki Saukkomaa/via REUTERS Editorial Note – This image was provided by a third party. No third party sales. Use by Reuters third party distributors is prohibited. Finland out. Commercial or editorial sale is prohibited in Finland.

HELSINKI (AP) – Finland’s government will close the Nordic nation’s entire eastern border again starting Friday as an influx of migrants continues at two of its borders with Russia, which briefly reopened early Thursday. It was determined.

Interior Minister Mari Rantanen told reporters earlier this week that the decision by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo’s cabinet to temporarily reopen the Valimaa and Nyirala checkpoints in the southeast today meant that a “phenomenon” of migrants was still at the border. He said it was meant to be a test to see if it existed.

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Finnish border guards reported that dozens of migrants without proper documents or visas had arrived at two checkpoints by late Thursday. Rantanen said the number of migrants at the Valimaa and Nyilala checkpoints was expected to increase rapidly and the Finnish government acted quickly by closing the checkpoints from 8pm on Friday until January 14. It is said that it became.

In late November, Olpo’s government closed the entire 1,340-kilometer (830-mile) border, citing concerns that Moscow was using migrants to destabilize Finland in what it described as a “hybrid war.” We have chosen to close for at least two weeks.

Finnish authorities said nearly 1,000 migrants arrived at the border without proper visas or valid documents between August and the end of November, with more than 900 entering the country in November alone. That number is much higher than usual.

Finland has accused Russia of deliberately directing migrants, most of whom are seeking asylum in Finland, to its border areas. Border areas are usually tightly controlled by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). The Kremlin denies that Russia is encouraging immigration to Finland and says it deplores the closure of Finland’s borders.

The land border between Finland and Russia has eight crossing points for passenger and vehicular traffic and one railway checkpoint for freight trains. As of Friday night, only railway checkpoints between the two countries will remain open.

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In early December, Finnish authorities announced that the majority of migrants who arrived in November were from three countries: Syria, Somalia and Yemen.

Finland, with a population of 5.6 million, is an important part of NATO’s northeast flank and serves as the European Union’s external border in the north.

left:
Traffic passing through the Finnish-Russian Valimaa border station in Vilorati, Finland, December 13, 2023. Lehtikuva/Heikki Saukkomaa/via REUTERS Editorial Note – This image was provided by a third party. No third party sales. Use by Reuters third party distributors is prohibited. Finland out. Commercial or editorial sale is prohibited in Finland.



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