Russia intercepted over 1,000 people trying to cross Finnish border in 2018: paper

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Russia prevented over 1,000 people from illegally crossing the border into Finland last year, according to Lännen Media. (Tommi Parkkinen/Yle)
Russian officials reportedly stopped more than 1,000 people from illegally crossing the border into Finland last year, according to the Lännen Media news consortium.

The news agency reported on Wednesday that the Finnish Border Guard received the data from Russian officials.

Interim Border Guard head Major General Pasi Kostamovaara told LM that the reported number of intercepted border crossings was five times as high as in the previous year, 2017.

Officials attributed the high number of attempted border violations to the football World Cup that took place in Russia last summer. Event tourists were able to enter Russia without a visa and many took advantage of the opportunity to try and enter Finland, they speculated. Most of the people stopped at the border were non-EU nationals.

Kostamovaara said that he expected that people would continue to try their hand at entering Finland illegally, however not in the numbers reported in 2018.

Related stories from around the North:

Finland: Two French kayakers illegally cross Finnish border into Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: Migrants still try to make it from Russia to Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russian border guards detain more migrants seeking Arctic route, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden to grant refugee status to Chinese Uighurs, Radio Sweden

United States: Alaska’s senators diverge on vote to block Trump’s border wall emergency, Alaska Public Media

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