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Finland closes half of its border crossing points with Russia

View of the Russia-Finland border at the Nuijamaa border checkpoint in Lappeenranta, Finland, November 15, 2023. LEHTIKUVA / REUTERS

Finland will close half of its border crossing points with Russia overnight from Friday to Saturday, accusing Moscow of letting undocumented migrants cross the border, the government announced Thursday, November 16.

The government has taken the decision to close the Vaalimaa, Nuijamaa, Imatra and Niirala crossing points on the border between Finland and Russia», Said Interior Minister Mari Rantanen during a press conference.


The Finnish government warned on Tuesday that it was considering closing its border with Russia, suspecting Moscow of trying to destabilize the country which joined NATO in April. “We have prepared for different kinds of actions, malicious acts on the part of Russia, so the situation is not a surprise“, declared Prime Minister Petteri Orpo.

In recent weeks, Finland has seen an increase in the number of undocumented migrants from the Middle East and Africa, particularly Iraq, Somalia and Yemen. “We want this phenomenon to stop, we want border activity to return to normal», added the Prime Minister. “If the situation spreads to other crossing points and becomes more difficult, we will take the necessary measures“, he added.

Finland shares a 1,340 kilometer border with Russia. The Kremlin had promised in April to take “countermeasures» after Finland’s accession to NATO, describing the enlargement of the Western alliance as “security breach» from Russia. Finland unveiled a plan at the end of 2022 to build a vast fence along 200 kilometers of its border.

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