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Finland reports rush of migrants entering two border crossings with Russia hours before re-closure

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Dozens of migrants entered Finland hours ago Friday. Re-closure of two intersections on the south side It comes as the Nordic country experiences an influx of asylum seekers on its border with Russia.

The Valimaa and Nyilala checkpoints, along with six other Finnish checkpoints on the border with Russia, temporarily reopened on Thursday after being closed late last month.

Finland has accused Moscow of sending migrants to its border in an effort to destabilize the country. Joined NATO in April. Russia denies the accusations.

“This is an exceptional phenomenon. We have never seen traffic jams like this before,” deputy border commander Samuli Murtonen told Finnish broadcaster YLE.

Already by late Thursday, Finnish border guards were reporting that dozens of migrants without proper documents or visas had arrived at two checkpoints.

However, the Finnish government decided on the same day to impose another lockdown from 8pm on Friday, which will remain in place until January 14th.

Short-term reopening The “phenomenon” of immigration The Finnish government says they are still present at the border.

At the end of November, Olpo government chooses to shut down The entire 1,340-kilometer (830-mile) border was closed for at least two weeks over concerns that Moscow was using migrants to destabilize Finland in what it described as a “hybrid war.”

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 on the Russian side by the 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 would remain open.

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

Finland has a population of 5.6 million people. Key parts of NATO’s northeast flank It serves as the outer border of the European Union in the north.

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Follow AP’s coverage of global migration at: https://apnews.com/hub/migration





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