The Finnish government decided to close all border crossings with Russia, except for one. The station at Raja Giuseppe, north of Kiruna on the Swedish side of the border, remains open.
Last week, Finland closed four out of nine border crossings with Russia. Now three more have closed.
The decision was taken after about 600 people, many without valid travel documents, entered Finland from Russia during November.
-We do this for the safety of Finns. Finnish Prime Minister Petri Orpo said during a press conference on Wednesday that the decision does not target anyone, but is about protecting Finland’s sovereignty.
“Russian hybrid warfare”
Elina Valtonen, Finland’s foreign minister, believes people now seeking asylum in Finland have received help from Russia to reach the border. It describes it, among other things, as part of Russia’s “hybrid warfare.”
– We demand that Russia stop sending people to our borders, she says during a press conference.
Russia denied this, and considered that Finland was contributing to a “humanitarian crisis,” as migrants were seen camping in the border area, where the temperature could be around 20 degrees below zero.
The border stations will be closed on Friday night, and will remain closed until December 23 at the earliest. Foreign Minister Elena Valtonen says Finland may also close its last border station, meaning the land border with Russia is completely closed.
“Unapologetic writer. Bacon enthusiast. Introvert. Evil troublemaker. Friend of animals everywhere.”