Finland may ban asylum seekers entry from Russia

Flag of Finland
Flag of Finland

Finland is planning to enact temporary legislation that would enable its border authorities to block asylum seekers attempting to enter the country from Russia, Reuters reported on March 15.

In late 2023, Finland closed all crossing points along its 1,340-kilometer border with Russia amid an increase in arrivals lacking valid EU entry documents.

Read also: Three detained in Finland for suspected laundering of nearly EUR 6 million from Ukrainian Defense Ministry

However, asylum seekers continue to arrive in the country, with their numbers likely to grow as the weather improves.

Read also: New NATO members Finland and Sweden launch joint Nordic Response 24 excercises with Norway

Helsinki accuses Moscow of funneling migrants to the Finnish border, an allegation the Kremlin denies.

"Finland has become a target of weaponized migration... not only has the Russian authority not intervened in this phenomenon, but even facilitated it," said Finnish PM Petteri Orpo.

Read also: Finland responds to Russian hybrid attack using migrants — complete border shutdown for two weeks

According to Orpo, the government hopes the corresponding bill will be swiftly approved. Meanwhile, Finnish Interior Ministry noted that the country "must be ready for Russia to exert prolonged pressure."

On Nov. 30, 2023, Finland shut all checkpoints points at the border with Russia. The closures were prompted by increased incidents of third-country nationals seeking asylum arriving from Russia.

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