Finland announced on Thursday the extension of the closure of its border crossing factors with Russia till April 14, 2024, citing considerations over weaponized migration and threats to nationwide safety from Russia. The choice comes after the initial closure, which was scheduled to finish on February 11, was prolonged as soon as once more.
The choice, authorized by the State Council, entails the closure of border crossing factors at Imatra, Kuusamo, Niirala, Nuijamaa, Raja-Joosepi, Salla, Vaalimaa, and Vartius on the land borders between Finland and Russia. Moreover, the centralized software for worldwide safety has been carried out at air and water transport border crossing factors as stipulated by the federal government decree.
The newest extension comes amid observations from border authorities that weaponized migration might resume if crossings reopen. Finland alleged irregular actions have occurred underneath the affect of a international state, believed to be Russia.
Inside Minister Mari Rantanen said that with no indicators of Russia altering its conduct, the safety state of affairs stays unchanged, and authorities estimate that hundreds of migrants proceed to attend on the Russian border searching for asylum in Finland.
The prolonged closure has sparked a response from Russia. Spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of International Affairs Maria Zaharova criticized Finland’s “politicized perspective” towards the border and disrespect of bilateral discussions between border forces. Zaharova accused Helsinki of “stubbornly refusing” to handle alleged threats from Russia and avoiding direct contact between authorities that might clear up the “unhealthy state of affairs.” She warned the closures violate Finland’s worldwide cooperation obligations.