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Finland seeks additional measures to stem flow of refugees from Russia

Finland seeks additional measures to stem flow of refugees from Russia Archive Photo: Prime Minister of Finland, Petteri Orpo (Getty Images)

Finland may take additional measures to stop a large number of migrants coming from Russia, according to statements from Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo.

According to the Finnish Border Guard Service, in November, about 900 asylum seekers from countries such as Afghanistan, Kenya, Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen entered Finland from Russia.

Finland attributes this increase to a change in border protocol with Russia and calls it a hybrid attack. The country has already closed all entry points except one but is still expecting the arrival of new migrants.

"Intelligence information from different sources tells us that there still are people on the move ... If this continues, more measures will be announced in the near future," said Prime Minister Petteri Orpo.

Sweden supports Finland

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson stated in a press conference that protecting the Finnish border is a shared responsibility, and Sweden will provide assistance if Finland requests it.

He mentioned that Russia is organizing the situation "with an obvious purpose to cause broader problems and provoke fragmentation in Western countries."

"This is the external border of the EU, and we have a common interest in efforts with Finland," he added.

Closing the Finnish-Russian border

Finland has started blocking entry from Russian territory due to an influx of illegal migrants. The Finnish Border Guard has prohibited entry for people traveling by bicycle through border crossing points with Russia.

Earlier, Finnish border guards had to use tear gas when migrants attempted to illegally enter camps from Russia.

Since November 18, four border crossing points on the Finland-Russia border have been closed, and on November 22, the Finnish government decided to close almost all border crossings. Currently, only one crossing point in Lapland is operational.