Finland is seeing more and more asylum seekers arriving from third countries through border crossings with Russia. “Their numbers have increased dramatically in a short time,” Interior Minister Marie Rantanen said. He also promised to take measures.
Finland shares a border of more than 1,300 kilometers with Russia. This is also one of the external borders of the European Union. Minister Rantanen says that a proposal is being prepared to act more effectively in the event of problems at the border. The authorities could then be given more powers to restrict cross-border traffic or close border crossings.
Finland announced on Tuesday that about sixty asylum seekers had arrived via Russia since Monday morning. According to Rantanen, Russian authorities are implementing a new policy and are now also allowing asylum seekers to pass without valid papers.
Prime Minister Petri Orbo criticized Russia at a press conference. There, the authorities help asylum seekers on their journey to Finland. “It is clear that these people are receiving assistance. They are also being escorted or taken to the border by border guards.” The Russian authorities have not yet responded to this accusation.
This would not be the first time that countries neighboring the European Union appeared to allow migrants to pass on a large scale to exert political pressure. In 2021, Europe accused Belarus, an ally of Russia, of deliberately creating a migration crisis by airlifting asylum seekers.
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