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Finland extends border closure with Russia for 2 months

by Tania Myronyshena February 8, 2024 5:06 PM 1 min read
Finnish Border Guard Major General Matti Sarasmaa (L) and Finnish Interior Minister Mari Rantanen attend press conference on the situation of the eastern border stations of Finland in Helsinki, Finland, on Jan. 11, 2024. (Roni Rekomaa/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Finnish government on Feb. 8 ruled to keep the border with Russia shut until April 14, according to the official press release.

Finland fully closed its border with Russia in late November 2023 to prevent an influx of migrants from entering the country via Russia. In November alone, around 900 asylum seekers from countries like Kenya, Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen entered Finland from Russia.

It will also not be possible to submit applications for international protection at any border with Russia.

"We have seen no signs that Russia is changing its behavior. On the contrary, the information we have received confirms our assessment that Russia is continuing its hybrid operation," Finnish Interior Minister Mari Rantanen said.

"Understandably, the continued total closure of the eastern border is distressing, especially for people with family on the Russian side. However, the temporary closure of border crossing points is the result of Russia's actions, which require Finland to put national security first."

Russia uses migration as a way to pressure Finland and other eastern EU countries.

According to the statement, the government is currently preparing measures against any illegal infiltration from Russia.

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