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EU border agency to bolster Finland's border

by Martin Fornusek November 23, 2023 5:50 PM 2 min read
Border patrol guard at Nuijamaa, Finland, not far from the country's border with Russia, on March 18, 2022. Illustrative purposes only. (Giulio Paletta/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
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The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) plans to deploy 50 border guard officers and other staff, as well as equipment, to Finland amid a growing migrant crisis on the border with Russia, the agency announced on Nov. 23.

November saw an unusually high number of third-country asylum seekers coming to the Finnish border from Russia.

Helsinki accused Moscow of orchestrating the migrant influx as retribution for the country's entry to NATO and moved to close all but one border crossing with its eastern neighbor.

Frontex plans to deploy the first group of officers on Nov. 29 to expand Frontex Joint Operation Terra 2023 in Finland. This will include border surveillance officers, support for registering migrants, document experts, and interpreters, the agency said.

"Frontex's support to Finland goes beyond logistics; it's a demonstration of the European Union's unified stand against hybrid challenges affecting one of its members," said Hans Leijtens, the agency's executive director.

"This collaboration shows that when facing complex border issues, Europe stands united, offering support through tangible actions."

Frontex stressed that apart from security considerations, the agency also pays attention to the humanitarian aspect of the developing migrant crisis in Finland.

"The agency remains deeply committed to ensuring that while Europe's borders are safeguarded, the fundamental rights and dignity of all people are respected and upheld," Frontex said.

Reports of Moscow-orchestrated migrant crisis echo the strategy used by Belarus against its NATO neighbors. Minsk has been facilitating flows of third-country migrants to the Baltic countries and Poland since 2021.

Finland to close all but one border crossing with Russia
The measure, which is to take effect on Nov. 24, follows Helsinki’s accusations that Russia is orchestrating the influx of migrants as retribution for Finland’s entry into NATO.

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