Finland to completely close four checkpoints on border with Russia
The Finnish government has decided to completely close four checkpoints on the border with Russia to ensure national security
Yle reported the information, citing the words of Finnish Interior Minister Mari Rantanen.
These are the Vaalimaa, Nuijamaa, Imatra, and Niirala checkpoints. They will cease to function on the night of Saturday, November 18. The restrictions will be in effect until February 18, 2024.
Markku Hassinen, Deputy Chief of the Border Guard Service, clarified that any traffic through the closed checkpoints would be prohibited through the closed checkpoints.
At the same time, the Vartius, Salla, Kuusamo and Raja-Jooseppi checkpoints will operate as usual, allowing for the ongoing application for international protection.
According to the minister, the closure of the checkpoints was made in response to the growing number of asylum seekers who do not have the appropriate documents.
"This decision was made on the basis of conclusions and information from border guards and other agencies. There are clear indications that the authorities of a foreign country have played a role in the arrival of people who have illegally crossed the border," Rantanen said.
Prime Minister Petteri Orpo has stated that Russian border guards have begun allowing people without proper documents to cross the border, prompting the Finnish government to address this situation. Orpo emphasized that this is an organized activity rather than a sudden deterioration in the humanitarian situation leading to an influx of refugees.
Earlier, Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo accused the Russian authorities of helping illegal migrants enter the country. Later, Interior Minister Mari Rantanen said that her government was preparing to strengthen border security.