Russia says it is not behind the recent flow of migrants to Finland. The country is responding to a decision by Finland to close four border posts, after significantly more people had crossed in recent weeks.
Last Tuesday, about sixty asylum seekers entered Finland from Russia, Finland reported last week. That was a significant increase compared to the previous months. According to the BBC In the past four months up to last Monday, 91 asylum seekers have crossed the border. After the peak on Tuesday, more days followed with similar numbers of asylum seekers.
Finland thinks the Kremlin is causing the flow of refugees. According to Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, it appears that Moscow wants to take revenge in this way for Finnish military cooperation with the United States.
Finland joined NATO in April after years of neutrality. The Russian invasion of Ukraine was a turning point for the country.
There are a total of nine border posts on the Finnish-Russian border. Finland decided to close four of them last week. Moscow said on Monday that it regretted this. The Russians accuse the government in Helsinki of an anti-Russian attitude.
Crossing the border is still possible in the north
Finland and Russia share a border of more than 1,000 kilometers. All border crossings in southeastern Finland are now closed, except the crossing for trains. Only in the north is it still possible to apply for asylum. Finnish media write that Helsinki is considering closing all border posts.
There is also dissatisfaction about the decision on the Finnish side of the border. More than two hundred demonstrators gathered in Lappeenranta on Monday, the Finnish broadcaster reports Yle. They want the opportunity to visit family in Russia.
Prime Minister Orpo acknowledged that the decision is annoying for people who legally used the border crossings a lot, but said that the measures will only be lifted when illegal migration stops.
- 16 nov 2023 om 16:14
Finland gooit vier grensovergangen met Rusland dicht vanwege migranten
- 14 nov 2023 om 19:58
Finland beschuldigt Rusland van hulp aan asielzoekers bij oversteken grens