Monday April 15, 2024

Finland mulls traffic restriction, closure at eastern border

Published : 14 Nov 2023, 22:40

  DF Report
Fence along eastern border with Russia. File Photo: Finnish Border Guard.

The government may decide to restrict cross-border traffic or to close border crossing points at eastern border with Russia against the backdrop of the influx of increasing number of asylum seekers.

The government parties agreed that the Ministry of the Interior will present a proposal to a government session on adopting restrictions in accordance with section 16 of the Border Guard Act, said the ministry in a press release on Tuesday.

Section 16 of the Border Guard Act contains several measures that can be taken as needed.

The government may also decide to centralise the submission of applications for international protection at one or more border crossing points.

“As agreed in the Government Programme, the Government will ensure Finland's border security in all situations. If necessary, the Government is prepared to exercise all its powers under the law in situations that seriously endanger border security,” said Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen.

Measures may be taken when legal requirements are met if necessary to prevent a serious threat to public order, national security or public health.

The total number of asylum seekers at the eastern border is still relatively low, but the number has grown sharply in a short period of time.

The asylum seekers arriving now are from several different countries, which is a new development, said the ministry.

The behaviour of the Russian authorities has changed, said the press release, adding that Russia begun allowing people to travel from Russia to Finland without the proper documents.

This is illegal entry and based on observations made by the authorities, this phenomenon involves international crime.

Earlier on the day, the President and Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy discussed the situation at eastern border.