Finland is going to close the last open border point with Russia on Thursday. This means that the border between Finland and Russia will be completely closed for two weeks.
The Prime Minister of Finland, Petteri Orpo, said that Russia is helping people to come to the Finnish border, even in very cold winter weather. Finland is sure they will stop this from happening.
The final checkpoint at the eastern border will close at midnight on November 30th and will not reopen until December 13th, according to Finland’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Helsinki is trying to stop people from crossing over from Russia more and more. This has been happening a lot since Russia invaded Ukraine last year and Finland joined NATO this year.
Finland’s Interior Minister Mari Rantanen said we need to close the whole eastern border with Russia to protect Finland’s national security from Russian activity.
The Finnish Border Guard wants to stop people from entering Finland illegally from Russia.
Finland makes sure its borders are safe and the Finnish Border Guard is ready to act fast on the Government’s new decisions.
Finland has a 830-mile-long border with Russia. The crossing was one of the only places where Russians could enter after many countries in the West closed their airspace and borders to Russian planes because of the Ukraine invasion.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said Tuesday that Finland’s choice to shut down all border checkpoints with Russia will hurt Finnish citizens. He also called it “unreasonable. ”
“They closed the border, what should we do. Finnish people will be in trouble,” Grushko said at a meeting in Moscow.
We can talk about smart choices and then try to find a reason behind them. “But sometimes people make irrational decisions,” he said. He also mentioned that only around 700 migrants tried to cross the border between Russia and Finland during this time.
The Finnish government said that it will close four border points with Russia to stop people from crossing the border illegally. This will happen from this week until February 2024.
On Tuesday, the interior ministry of Finland said that people are still entering the country from the eastern border even though there are restrictions.
“Since the start of August, almost 1,000 people from other countries came to Finland without a visa at the eastern border checkpoints. ” Many of them have asked for protection in Finland, the government said.
“In very special situations, the government is closing the eastern border completely for a short time. This is needed to stop something bad from happening and to keep the country safe. ” The ministry said in a press release on Tuesday.
NATO leader Jens Stoltenberg said Russia is using migrants to put pressure on Finland at their border.
“We have seen them using power, cyber attacks, and secret operations to try to weaken our democracies. ” Stoltenberg said Russia is using migration to put pressure on neighboring countries.
NATO has not been asked by Finland for help with guarding its borders. Stoltenberg said he believes Finland can handle the issue on its own.
He liked that the European Union’s border agency, Frontex, was going to send 50 guards to the Finnish border.
Helsinki stopped people from entering at the end of September 2022 because many Russians were trying to escape President Vladimir Putin’s call for hundreds of thousands of citizens to join the war. Over 8,500 people from Russia came across the border in just one day.
Earlier this year, the Finnish Border Guard started building a fence along the eastern border as a test.