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Finland seeks Poland's experience in border protection

by Martin Fornusek December 4, 2023 9:41 AM 2 min read
Vehicles of the Finnish Defence Forces at the Vartius border station in Kuhmo, Finland, on Nov. 19, 2023. (Miska Puumala/Lehtikuva/ AFP via Getty Images)
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Finland plans to use Poland's experience with border security amid the ongoing migrant crisis on the Finnish-Russian border, the Polish Radio reported on Dec. 3.

November saw an unusually high number of third-country asylum seekers arriving at the Finnish border from Russia without proper documentation. Helsinki accused Moscow of orchestrating the migrant influx as retribution for the country's entry into NATO.

Finnish representatives arrived in Poland to observe the local system of border protection with Belarus, Polish Border Service spokesperson Anna Michalska said.

They were mainly interested in Polish experience with regulatory documents and interoperability with the military and other services, according to the spokesperson.

Finnish authorities seek to apply this knowledge at home after adapting it to the Finnish context, Michalska added.

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Two Polish border guards arrived in Finland last week as part of the EU's Frontex operation, with more to come this week.

The migrant crisis on the Finnish border echoes 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.

According to Michalska, Moscow bears responsibility for the situation on the Finnish and Polish borders.

Helsinki announced on Nov. 28 that it would close its only remaining crossing with Russia at Raja-Jooseppi from Nov. 30 to Dec. 13.

"We have made this decision to protect Finland's national security against this Russian hybrid operation," said Finnish Interior Minister Mari Rantanen.

Finland to close entire border with Russia for 2 weeks
Finland will shut the border crossing point of Raja-Jooseppi from Nov. 30 to Dec. 13, which means its entire border with Russia will be closed for two weeks, the Finnish government said on Nov. 28.
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