Finland closed its borders with Russia for an indefinite period

The Finnish Ministry of Internal Affairs explained the decision to leave the borders with the Russian Federation closed “until further notice” by the risk of further “instrumentalization of migration” by the Kremlin.

The Finnish government has decided to keep checkpoints on the land border with Russia had closed from April 15 for an indefinite period. In addition, from April 15, the sea crossing points in Haapasaari, the port of Nuijamaa and Santio will be closed to prevent illegal migration by sea. “The decision will remain in effect until further notice, but no longer than necessary,” the Interior Ministry said in a press release.

In opening the border with the Russian Federation, the Finnish authorities see a “risk of resumption” of mass illegal migration of citizens from third countries who, after crossing the border from the Russian side, request asylum in Finland. “There are hundreds, and possibly thousands, of people close to the Finnish border on the Russian side who could be used against Finland,” said Interior Minister Marie Rantanen. Finnish authorities view Russia’s policy of “instrumentalization of migration” as a “hybrid attack” and a “long-term threat.”

The government’s previous decision to close the border was valid until April 14 2024.

In November 2023, Finland completely closed its land border with Russia amid an influx of migrants without appropriate documents. Helsinki accused Moscow of provoking citizens of third countries to cross the border. In response, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called “Finland’s attempts to shift responsibility onto Russia” for the situation at the border “clumsy excuses.”

Since the beginning of Syrian Civil War, which was largely fueled by Russia supporting the regime of Bashar al-Assad, the influx of illegal migrants and refugees to Europe has risen significantly. In 2021, Russia transported thousands of migrants from the Middle East to the border between Belarus and Poland. The same tactics, as mentioned in the paragraphs above, were used against Finland. Illegal migration has caused a great stress on the social and economic spheres of EU countries, which was later used by far-right parties (financed mostly through Russian proxies) to destabilise EU countries from within. Such migration crises our designed by Russian special services to divert the attention of EU and NATO from the more pressing issue, an aggressive and unprovoked war by Russia against Ukraine.

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