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Reuters: Finland plans to use reservists to patrol border with Russia

by Rachel Amran and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 16, 2024 4:42 AM 2 min read
A member of the Finnish Border Guard stands next to a fence along the Finnish-Russian border in Pelkola, Imatra, Finland, on May 30, 2023. (Markku Ulander / Lehtikuva / AFP via Getty Images)
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Finland is planning to change its conscription rules to allow reservists to help patrol the border with Russia in the case that there is a sudden wave of migrants, Reuters reported on May 15.

According to the new rules, Finns who have completed military service in the border forces can now be called up to patrol the border with Russia in exceptional circumstances.

Finland closed its border with Russia in late November 2023 after Russia orchestrated an influx of migrants as a way to pressure Helsinki.

In November alone, around 900 asylum seekers from countries like Kenya, Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen entered Finland from Russia.

The Finnish government decided last month to close the border indefinitely.

Finland's government also decided to close several crossing points for maritime traffic to leisure boating due to concerns that Russia may encourage migrants to reach Finland by sea or over lakes.

Russia's strategy of sending asylum seekers to Finland's eastern border was similar to the situation at the border between Belarus and Poland in 2021, when Minsk encouraged thousands of asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa to try to reach the EU via the Polish border.

The changes to Finland's conscription policies will be put to a vote in parliament.

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