FSB pushes border opening with Finland, 18 walkers crossed illegally on Thursday
The group of illegal border crossers consisted of men, women and children, the Finnish border guard informs. All 18 have asked for asylum, and preliminary information indicates that they are from the Middle East.
It is illegal to cross the border in the terrain anywhere along the 1,340 km land border between the two countries.
Following an FSB-supported wave of migrants in the autumn of 2023, Finland’s Government decided to close all eight legal checkpoints to Russia. In January, it was decided to keep the border crossings closed until February 11.
Meanwhile, the FSB border guard service in Karelia, in charge of the borders with northern Finland and Norway, promotes that the Russian checkpoints are still open.
The information is posted on several social media sites in Northwest Russia and tells the opening hours for the checkpoints in Karelia and Murmansk region. There are three checkpoints from Karelia to Finland and two checkpoints from the Murmansk region to Finnish Lapland.
FSB makes clear that the checkpoints are closed on the Finnish side of the border but does not explain why Russia keeps its checkpoints open as normal.
Thursday’s group of 18 people is the second time this year that illegals have entered Finland in the terrain. On January 12, eleven Iranian citizens walked the snow and asked for asylum. The group was assisted by people on the Russian side, the Finnish Border Guard informed.
Frontex, the European Border Guard Agency, this week decided to prolong its support to control Finland’s border with Russia. About 50 staff are working together with the Finnish border guard in the regions of Southeast Finland, North Karelia and Kainuu district.