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Finland Closes Eastern Border with Russia as Tensions Escalate

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Nitish Verma
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Finland Closes Eastern Border with Russia as Tensions Escalate

In a bold move to counter perceived aggression, Finland announced on Tuesday that it will shut down its entire eastern border with Russia for two weeks, starting from November 30th. This decision follows the closure of four border crossings earlier in November due to concerns over the increasing influx of undocumented asylum seekers.

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Orchestrated Migrant Influx: A New Form of Warfare?

The Finnish government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, has characterized this situation as a "hybrid attack" by Russia. This unconventional attack involves the use of migrants from third-party countries, with approximately 900 asylum seekers from nations including Kenya, Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen entering Finland from Russia in November alone. Finnish authorities believe this is a retaliation by Russia for Finland's decision to join the NATO military alliance and enhance its defense cooperation with the United States.

As part of these measures, all eight border crossings will be shut, with only cargo trains permitted to pass through the southern border crossing of Vainikkala. Asylum seekers can still apply for protection at open border crossing points for air and maritime traffic, effectively limiting their entry to ports and airports.

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The Eastern Border Crisis: A Call for Resolution

Prime Minister Orpo stated that the situation was created by Russia and emphasized that they have the capability to resolve it. The Finnish government seeks a return to normalcy at the eastern border and has categorically stated that it will not tolerate actions that threaten its national security. The border station will remain open on Wednesday before closing until December 13th.

Finland's move to close its border indicates the escalating tensions between the two nations, which have been strained since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. This event has led to Finland aligning itself more closely with NATO, an action that has seemingly provoked this latest response from Russia.

As the nation braces for the closure, the world watches closely for signs of a resolution, or escalation, in this international standoff.

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