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Finland may completely close border with Russia, PM says

Petteri Orpo said that the current situation on the border "poses a threat to national security"

STOCKHOLM, November 23. /TASS/. Helsinki will consider completely closing the border with Russia if the influx of illegal migrants continues, Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said.

According to the Yle TV channel, the head of the government claims that hundreds of migrants who have no legal right to enter the European Union are arriving at the border. "If the trend continues and expands - and we have seen signs of that - we will have to consider closing the border," the prime minister told the broadcaster. He added that the current situation on the border "poses a threat to national security."

Interior Minister Mari Rantanen also mentioned the possibility of Finland closing the entire border. "If the situation is not resolved, we will consider further options. I believe that it’s quite possible that the eastern border will be closed completely at the second stage," she said in an interview with Yle.

On November 22, the Finnish government decided to shut down three of the four remaining border crossings into Russia, making an exception for the Raja-Jooseppi checkpoint. The three will be closed at 12:00 a.m. local time on November 24. The decision will remain in effect until December 23, 2023.

Finland closed four crossing points on the border with Russia (Vaalimaa, Nuijamaa, Imatra and Niirala) on the night of November 17 to 18. According to the Finnish prime minister, the goal was to respond to the inflow of "citizens from third countries" to Finland’s eastern border, which had increased recently. The country’s Interior Minister Mari Rantanen explained that the decision would remain in effect until February 18, 2024.

Another border crossing, called Syuvyaoro in Russia and Parikkala in Finland, was closed indefinitely in April 2022.