Finland Keeps Border With Russia Closed Until Mid-April
Finland's eastern border will remain closed until at least 14 April. This was announced at a press conference on Thursday, 8 February 2024, by the Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen, Yle reports.
"The basis for this decision is that, based on official information, Russia's instrumental immigration operation will continue," the Finnish Interior Minister said.
"Now that we are extending the border closure for two months, we want to signal to Russia and third-country nationals that Finland's border is not open. Finland will not accept pressure," she added.
According to a report by the Finnish Ministry of the Interior, the Russian authorities either allowed "the creation of an illegal immigration route to the Finnish border" or actively facilitated the phenomenon of instrumentalised mass immigration of illegal immigrants from African countries.
The document states that there are "hundreds, probably more" of potential illegal migrants near the Finnish border or within a short transport distance from the Finnish border from Russia.
The Ministry of the Interior notes that in January this phenomenon spread to the land border, which is considered an alarming development.
"If this phenomenon continues, it will seriously threaten Finland's national security and public order in Finland," the report says.
According to the Ministry of the Interior, the authorities have found that the phenomenon also involves international crime and the risk that there are criminals or radicalised individuals among the people trying to enter Finland from Russia.
As The Gaze wrote, Finland completely closed its eastern border with Russia due to a threat to national security in early December last year.
Earlier, Norway and Estonia also considered the possibility of closing their borders with Russia.