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HomeFinlandFM Valtonen: Russia Using Migrant Arrivals in "Similar Tactics" Against Neighbours

FM Valtonen: Russia Using Migrant Arrivals in “Similar Tactics” Against Neighbours


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The Finnish Border Guard has reported that once again more people than usual sought refuge on Finland’s eastern border over Monday night.

“About ten people arrived at the Nuijamaa and Vaalimaa border crossing points last night,” Matti Pitkäniitty, who heads international affairs at the Finnish Border Guard, told Yle on Tuesday.

By 10:30am border guard officials told Yle that some 21 asylum seekers had arrived since midnight.

Border officials have recently reported an uptick in citizens of third countries arriving at Finnish border-crossing points without proper documentation, signaling a shift in Russian policy.

The Southeastern Border Guard said its stations recorded a total of 39 asylum applications on Monday.

Those travelling without visas to Finland were cycling to the border and seeking asylum at border crossing stations, according to Pitkäniitty.

“We have had busy years before, if we look at 2015 and 2016, but now there has been a clear change in southeastern Finland,” he said.

Russian border guards normally prevent travellers from reaching the Finnish border without the required documents to enter, but that has not stopped recent arrivals who have then applied for asylum in Finland.

In practice, officials register asylum seekers at the border before transferring them to reception centers by bus.

Finnish Migration authority Migri said it has prepared for an increased number of asylum seekers, noting it was prioritising the processing of applications from third-country nationals who have crossed the eastern border.

Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen (NCP) raised the eastern border situation at an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels on Monday.

“I wanted to highlight the situation at the border and also that Russia has previously employed similar tactics towards Finland and perhaps also along its other western borders,” Valtonen said.

Source: Yle

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