Finland’s Prime Minister, Petteri Orpo, announced on Tuesday the decision to reopen a portion of the country’s border with Russia. The border had been closed in November following accusations that Russia orchestrated a migration crisis.
Orpo stated that the government had decided to maintain the closure of the eastern border, except for two border crossings in the south. Both crossings are set to reopen from December 14 to January 14, 2024.
The Ministry of Interior emphasized that the government reserved the right to close the entire border again if the immigration issue continued to be “instrumentalized.” Finland accuses Russia of allowing migrants, particularly from Somalia, Iraq, and Yemen, to pass through the border, characterizing it as a “hybrid attack” aimed at destabilizing the nation.
Since early August, nearly 1,000 asylum seekers have reportedly presented themselves at the border crossings between Finland and Russia. The move to reopen specific crossings signifies a cautious step by Finland, balancing the need for border security with diplomatic considerations amid the ongoing tensions.
The situation underscores the complex relationship between Finland and Russia, with Finland seeking to address security concerns while navigating the broader geopolitical challenges associated with migration dynamics in the region.