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Finland shuts Russia border again hours after reopening

Finland shuts Russia border again hours after reopening

by host

Finland’s government decided on Thursday to once again close the country’s entire eastern border with Russia — from Friday night until January 14 — due to another influx of asylum seekers mere hours after it had reopened two crossing points.

Interior Minister Mari Rantanen told a press conference that “entry started faster than expected when the border crossing points in Vaalimaa and Niirala were opened today.” According to a local media report, at least 60 people showed up immediately after Finland opened the two crossings.

“We have found that illegal immigration at Finland’s eastern border has immediately resumed. The phenomenon accelerated faster than thought,” Rantanen said.

Finland closed its border with Russia for two weeks last month amid accusations that Moscow was driving migrants and asylum seekers to the frontier to sow discord as payback for the Nordic country’s joining the NATO military alliance. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied those accusations.

Earlier this week, Finnish PM Petteri Orpo announced that only the Vaalimaa and Niirala crossings would be reopened. “The risk that Russia will continue instrumentalized immigration were extremely high,” he said.

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