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Monday, March 4, 2024

Finland to close entire border with Russia due to migration concerns

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Finland will close its last remaining road border with Russia due to concerns over migration, Prime Minister Petteri Orpo has said, accusing Moscow of undermining Finland’s national security.

Finland had already closed seven of the eight checkpoints along its long border with Russia this month following a surge in arrivals of migrants from the Middle East and Africa. The government accuses Moscow of ushering the migrants toward the Finnish border.

“The government has decided to close the entire eastern border,” Mr Orpo told reporters, saying the country faced an “exceptional” situation.

“We don’t accept any attempt to undermine our national security,” he said.

Finnish authorities say about 900 migrants crossed the border from Russia this month, significantly more than normal. It has accused Russia of trying to create a migration crisis in Finland following the Nordic nation’s entry into Nato this year.

Interior minister Mari Rantanen said the last border crossing for vehicle traffic that remains open, Raja-Jooseppi in Finland’s Arctic north, would close at midnight on Wednesday.

A railway crossing between the two countries remains open but for cargo traffic only.

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