Norway and Estonia Consider Closing Border Crossings with Russia
The Estonian government is exploring the possibility of "partial or complete" closure of border checkpoints with Russia due to the increase in illegal migration. The head of the country's border service, Veiko Kommusaar, made this statement, as reported by Postimees.
He specifically noted that on November 16, within just one and a half hours, eight Somali citizens attempted to enter Estonia from Russia without visas, circumventing Russian border guards through an Estonian checkpoint.
"We are closely monitoring the situation, and if necessary, we are ready to prevent any illegal migration. Depending on the border situation, this may mean the partial or complete closure of checkpoints," stated Veiko Kommusaar.
Norway, in turn, is also "closely monitoring" the situation on the Russia-Finland border. The Minister of Justice and Public Security of the country, Emilie Enger Mehl, stated that Norway is considering the possibility of closing the single border crossing point on the Norwegian-Russian border in Storskog.
"We are closely monitoring the situation, and if necessary, we may need to close the border as soon as possible," said Emilie Enger Mehl.
It is worth noting that Finland has decided to close four border checkpoints with Russia starting from November 18. Prime Minister Petteri Orpo stated that Russian border guards are contributing to the creation of a crisis situation by allowing individuals to enter the border without proper documents. According to the decision of the Finnish authorities, the Vaalimaa, Nuijamaa, Imatra, and Niirala border checkpoints will be closed, and applications for international protection will only be accepted at the Salla and Vartius border crossings. In other open crossing points, filing asylum applications will be impossible.
Recall that in 2022, Finland and Sweden decided to join NATO, abandoning neutrality due to the growing threat from Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. Finland quickly became a full member of the Alliance, while Sweden's accession is currently blocked by Hungary and Turkey. The Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey decided to postpone negotiations on the bill approving the protocol for Sweden's accession to NATO. The Parliament of Hungary has also not yet brought this issue to the agenda of the next session.