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Finland to close border with Russia

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Finland to close border with Russia

Finland will close its border with Russia today.

Last month, Finland’s Interior Minister announced it would close all borders with Russia due to a huge influx of unregulated migrants from Russia. Finland accused Russia of funneling migrants from Africa and the Middle East towards the country in efforts to destabilize it.

After reopening the border earlier this week, Finland rapidly announced it would shut the entire eastern border again due to the continued influx of migrants and asylum seekers from Russia.

Finland’s 1340-kilometer border has come under increased pressure since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Finland’s access to NATO in April. Helsinki accused Moscow of conducting hybrid warfare by funneling migrants from Africa and the Middle East to Finland in an effort to destabilize the country.  The accusations of “hybrid warfare” are owed to the 900 migrants that entered Finland in November alone.

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The relationship between the two countries has stagnated and is expected to continue deteriorating. In the short-term expect the Finland border to remain shut until mid-January and contingent that Russia’s Federal Security Service is back to monitoring the checkpoints.  This may increase tensions with the European Union as Finland will have to balance Europe’s concerns about human rights and the country’s border security without collaboration from Moscow. In the long term, expect greater collaboration between EU members to mitigate such problems under the recently approved migration and asylum agreement.

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