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Finnish government ready to close last crossing point with Russia — prime minister

According to Petteri Orpo, the government may decide on the issue very soon

STOCKHOLM, November 27. /TASS/. The Finnish authorities are ready to close their last border crossing with Russia if necessary, citing national security, Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said at a press conference in Helsinki after talks with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.

"We consider it a matter of national security," Orpo said, adding that "Finland protects the eastern border of the EU and NATO." "If necessary, we are ready to close the last border crossing," the Finnish prime minister said. According to him, the government may decide on this very soon. "The ensuing decision will be made soon, everything should be ready," Orpo continued.

In turn, Kristersson said Sweden strongly supports the measures that Finland is taking at the border. "It is important to emphasize that this is also the EU's external border and we have common interests on this issue," he said.

According to Finnish media, about 1,000 asylum seekers have come to the country via its eastern border since the beginning of August.

On November 22, the Finnish government decided to close three of its four remaining border crossings, keeping only the Raja-Jooseppi checkpoint open. On the night of November 17-18, the Finnish side closed the first four border checkpoints on its eastern border, with the authorities justifying the move by the recent influx of "third-country nationals" to the eastern border of Finland.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that Russia is very disappointed with Finland's potential closure of the remaining checkpoints with Russia. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier that Finland's decision to close some border crossings creates new dividing lines in Europe, and Moscow's response to these actions will be worked out in an interdepartmental format.