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Finland's Minister of Foreign Affairs explained why Russia sends migrants to country

Finland's Minister of Foreign Affairs explained why Russia sends migrants to country Photo: Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland Elina Valtonen (Getty Images)

Finland has completely closed its border with Russia because Moscow deliberately directed individuals with a criminal past to the country and the EU, who may engage in acts of espionage or sabotage, stated the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Elina Valtonen.

According to her, Moscow deliberately mobilizes people from third countries and sends them to Finland and EU countries, forcing Helsinki to close the entire border with Russia.

She added that Finland is not only protecting its own border but also the borders of the EU and NATO because "if a state like Russia uses people for hybrid warfare, our current laws are insufficient to counter this in accordance with the Convention on Human Rights."

Valtonen noted that border crossings with Russia are currently closed, but the security situation at the border remains serious.

"Only last week, 15 migrants crossed the land border with Finland. This is not only illegal but also very dangerous at minus 20 degrees Celsius and deep snow. We should expect that Russia will continue to try to destabilize Finland and Europe. Recently, 160 Russians disappeared after crossing into our country. And this fact worries me," said the head of the Finnish foreign affairs department.

She called it "absolutely unacceptable that a third country can decide which people come to Finland and the EU, especially when it (the country - editor) is still engaged in an illegal aggressive war." She added that among the migrants from Russia, many have a criminal past.

"Russians even send us people who were involved in war crimes. We don't know the arrangements these people have with the Russian authorities. Some of them have told Finnish immigration authorities that Russia would have sent them to war in Ukraine if they hadn't crossed the border. So, if Russia allows these people to fight in Ukraine, they can fight elsewhere. They could be used for espionage or sabotage," Valtonen emphasized.

Closure of Finland's border with Russia

On November 30, 2023, the Finnish authorities closed all border checkpoints with the Russian Federation. This decision was prompted by a significant influx of illegal migrants attempting to enter the country.

On December 13, the government resumed the operation of two border checkpoints, but within a few days, they were once again completely closed due to a new wave of migrants.

On January 11, the Finnish government extended the closure of the borders with Russia for another month, until February 11.

To prevent illegal border crossings, the country's border service decided to construct additional temporary barriers. These temporary barriers are being built using NATO-standard special wire.