Friday March 01, 2024
Finland keeps Russian border closed until April 14
Published : 08 Feb 2024, 19:06
The government on Thursday decided that the border crossing points on the land border between Finland and Russia will remain closed until April 14, said an official press release.
It will not be possible to submit applications for international protection at any border crossing point on the land border between Finland and Russia.
The government took the decision to temporarily close the border crossing points on Finland's eastern border late last year against the backdrop of influx of asylum seekers from Russia.
The decision will extend the total closure of the eastern border by two months.
Under the current circumstances, it is a necessary and proportionate measure, as instrumentalised migration poses a serious threat to Finland's national security and public order.
Based on the information provided by the authorities, it is likely that instrumentalised migration would resume, if border crossing points were opened at the eastern border.
“We have seen no signs that Russia is changing its behaviour. On the contrary, the information we have received confirms our assessment that Russia is continuing its hybrid operation. We have reason to believe that this situation will continue for some time. There are hundreds if not thousands of migrants who are currently staying close to the border on the Russian side and who are waiting for the chance to cross into Finland,” said Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen.
“Understandably, the continued total closure of the eastern border is distressing especially for people with family on the Russian side. However, the temporary closure of border crossing points is the result of Russia's actions, which require Finland to put national security first,” Rantanen added.
Instrumentalisation of migration is one of Russia's means of exerting pressure and a way to affect the security and social stability of Finland and the EU.
The Ministry of the Interior together with other ministries is currently looking for alternative ways to put an end to this phenomenon.
However, adequate time should be given to conducting a thorough legislative analysis and drawing conclusions from it, added the press release issued by the Ministry of the Interior.
The government on November 15 at a meeting decided that measures to ensure border security will be taken following the rapid increase in illegal entry at the eastern border.
Earlier on November 14, the Ministry of the Interior said, the government may decide to restrict cross-border traffic or to close border crossing points at eastern border with Russia.