In a move that has sent shockwaves across the international community, Finland has decided to temporarily close its entire border with Russia. This decision comes in response to an unusual surge of asylum seekers from various nations, including Kenya, Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, entering Finland from Russia. The Finnish authorities suspect that this influx is a calculated move by Moscow in retaliation for Finland's decision to join NATO.
Moldovan Ministry Issues Travel Alert
The Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration (MAEIE) has promptly issued a travel alert for Finland, following the announcement of the border closure. According to the Moldovan Embassy in the Kingdom of Sweden, this measure will take effect from November 30, 2023, and will last until December 13, 2023. During this period, crossing the border between Finland and Russia will be possible only through border checkpoints located at international airports and maritime ports in Finland. The MAEIE advises citizens to adhere to the announcements of the Finnish Border Guard, available at raja.fi.
NATO Country Shuts Off Eastern Border
This decision by Finland, a NATO ally, to shut off its eastern border with Russia is seen as an effort to protect its national security. Finland's move to restrict crossings from Russia intensified following the invasion of Ukraine last year and its ascension to NATO earlier this year. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg accused Russia of using migration as a tool to create pressure along its border with Finland.
Asylum Seekers and Hybrid Warfare
Helsinki has accused Moscow of ushering asylum-seekers from various countries towards the Finnish border as part of a "hybrid warfare" strategy to destabilize Finland following its entry into NATO. The government has decided to close all the crossing points on the entire eastern border, allowing only cargo trains to pass between the two nations. This decision comes in the wake of Finland's move to increase defence cooperation with the United States, a move that has irked Russia.
In another development, a 15-year-old girl who had been missing from her home in Popesti-Leordeni, Drochia district, for over a month has been found safe at a friend's house. The police had sought public assistance to find the girl, who left her home on October 18.