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Finland considering closing border with Russia

by Rachel Amran and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 15, 2023 4:07 AM 2 min read
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Finland is reportedly considering closing its border with Russia completely, Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo stated on Nov. 14.

Prime Minister Orpo told Finnish news outlet Yle that Russian border guards have changed tactics and are now allowing people across the border without the necessary documents and the number of migrants without appropriate paperwork is increasing.

"This should be taken seriously," Orpo said. "We are monitoring the situation."

The government is considering different options to address the situation, from closing one individual checkpoint to completely shutting down the entire border.

A similar situation took place back in 2015. "It was the same then, people without entry documents who came to ask for asylum in our country were allowed to the Finnish border. In this sense, it looks like a conscious decision."

Earlier this week, the Finnish Border Guard reported a spike in asylum seekers arriving without required travel documents to Finland's southeast border.

Ninety-one people have arrived at the border crossing points in Southeastern Finland without required travel documents since August 2023, according to the agency responsible for enforcing border security.

The agency said the asylum seekers are citizens of third countries who used Russia for transit. The spike marks a change in approach from the Russian authorities in the area who previously prevented people without the necessary travel documents from traveling to Finnish border crossings, according to the report.

Finland shut its border to Russian tourists in September 2022.

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