Finland shutters border to stop flow of illegal immigrants

The government of Finland announced it will be closing its border to Russia for two weeks, beginning Tuesday, to combat Illegal immigrants from entering after an unusually large amount have been admitted since Finland began working closer with the United States.

Helsinki believes that Moscow had purposely funneled over 900 illegal immigrants from nations such as Pakistan, Somalia and Syria to the Nordic country in November, in retaliation for increased defense cooperation with the US, Reuters reports.

Earlier in the year, Finland additionally upset the Kremlin when it joined NATO in response to the Ukraine war.

"This is Russia's influence operation and we do not accept it," Prime Minister Petteri Orpo told a press conference.

The move has been anticipated for the past couple of weeks, with Orpo telling the press, "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.”

Last week, Finland closed all except for one border post to Russia and surveilled its entrants. It was reported that three migrants crossed through the open post Monday.

Previous reporting from the Finnish Border Guard showed Finland used to see less than one migrant per day before tension started heating up with Russia.

Orpo also stated that Finland had intelligence that many more were still heading toward his country with the aid of Russian authorities, despite the border closures.

The Kremlin denies sending immigrants Finland’s way out of retaliation.

The Raja-Jooseppi post will remain open through Wednesday before being closed for the two week duration, during which migrants seeking asylum will only be accepted by travelers via boat and air.


Image: Title: Finnish border
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