In a significant move, the Finnish Interior Minister has declared that Finland's border will remain sealed until December 13, affecting all entry points, including land, air, and sea. This decision comes as part of Finland's strategic response to an evolving situation, potentially involving public health, security, or migration control issues.
Heightened Border Security Amidst Migration Crisis
A surge in asylum-seekers entering Finland without visas across its 1,300-kilometer border with Russia has prompted the country to close all but its northernmost border crossing. The Finnish authorities have, on multiple occasions, accused Russian authorities of orchestrating a migration crisis to destabilize Finland. The only remaining open border crossing is the Raja-Jooseppi station, where migrants continue to stream in.
International Support and Criticism
Sweden has expressed its support for Finland's decision to close some border crossing points due to the influx of migrants from Russia. Similarly, Norway, Denmark, and Estonia have also indicated their willingness to back Finland's measures. However, the closure of border crossing points has elicited regret from the Kremlin.
Implications and Future Developments
The border closure is likely to have wide-ranging implications, affecting international travel, trade, and cross-border movement in the region. The Finnish government is expected to unveil further details and guidelines on the border closure, including possible exceptions or special provisions. As the situation unfolds and the December 13 deadline nears, Finland's border policy may undergo further adjustments. Meanwhile, the EU’s border and coast guard agency, Frontex, is set to assist Finland in managing the situation.