Scenes of tension and scuffles unfolded at one of Finland’s border crossings with Russia as a group of 163 migrants on bicycles made an attempt to seek asylum. This incident occurred just a few hours before four crossing points along Finland’s long border with Russia were scheduled to be closed.
The recent increase in the number of Middle Eastern and African migrants arriving at the Finnish border has prompted Helsinki to take action. The Finnish government claims that Russia is encouraging this influx of migrants. Border guards report that approximately 300 asylum seekers have arrived in the past week alone.
The decision by Finland to join NATO in April, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has further exacerbated the already strained relations between the two countries. Finland had long maintained a non-aligned position but altered its stance in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
In response to the escalating situation, Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and Interior Minister Mari Rantanen have ordered the closure of the southeastern crossing points, namely Imatra, Niirala, Nuijamaa, and Vaalimaa. At present, there are nine crossing points, with one dedicated exclusively to rail travel.
Spanning a distance of 1,340 kilometers, Finland’s border with Russia winds its way through dense forests in the south before reaching the rugged landscape of the Arctic north.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What led to the scuffle at the border crossing between Finland and Russia?
The scuffle occurred when a group of 163 migrants, traveling on bicycles, attempted to seek asylum at one of Finland’s border crossings with Russia.
2. Why is Finland closing some of its border crossing points?
Finland is closing certain crossing points along its border with Russia in response to a recent influx of Middle Eastern and African migrants. The Finnish government believes that Russia is encouraging this flow of migrants.
3. How many asylum seekers have arrived at the Finnish border in the past week?
Border guards report that approximately 300 asylum seekers have arrived at the Finnish border in the past week.
4. Why did Finland decide to join NATO?
Finland’s decision to join NATO was prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Previously, Finland had a non-aligned stance, but it altered its position in response to Russia’s actions.
5. How many border crossing points are there between Finland and Russia?
Currently, there are nine crossing points between Finland and Russia, with one exclusively designated for rail travel.
– Finnish Border Guard: http://www.raja.fi/