The Finnish government is looking for new options to solve the problem with migrants on the border with Russia. Prime Minister Petteri Orpo announced this on December 31 in his New Year’s message.
“The problems on our eastern border have not gone away. The government is closely monitoring the situation and working on solutions to stop organized migration,” he was quoted as saying on the Finnish government website.
Orpo acknowledged that border closures have made life difficult for many people and businesses. At the same time, he pointed out the need to primarily pay attention to the country’s security and stated that its authorities would not compromise on this issue.
Earlier, on December 14, Finland briefly resumed the work of two checkpoints on the border with Russia after their two-week closure, lifting restrictions on their operation and opening passenger and freight traffic through the Vaalimaa (Torfyanovka) and Niirala (Värtsilä) checkpoints. )”. During this time, almost 5.5 thousand people and 3 thousand cars and trucks crossed the Russian-Finnish border.
The borders were supposed to open until January 14, but less than 24 hours later, on December 15, the Finnish authorities decided to re-close the checkpoint. Against this background, on the evening of December 14, a queue of dozens of people wanting to get into Finland accumulated at the border at the Torfyanovka checkpoint.
On December 17, a protest rally was held in the Finnish border city of Lappeenranta against the decision of the country’s authorities to close the border with Russia. Its participants included approximately 50–60 people, mostly citizens of the Russian Federation living in Finland. The decision to close the borders was later appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court.
The previous time in Finland, all checkpoints on the border with Russia were closed from November 30 to December 13 due to the influx of migrants from third countries.