Migrants on Arctic transit route have returned to Moscow

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The gates on the Arctic migrant route are now closed. Not one single asylum seeker from Russia to Norway since November 29th and no one to Salla or Raja-Jooseppi in Finland since last Monday. Photo: Thomas Nilsen
The gates on the Arctic migrant route are now closed. Not one single asylum seeker from Russia to Norway since November 29th and no one to Salla or Raja-Jooseppi in Finland since last Monday. Photo: Thomas Nilsen
It has been one week without any asylum seekers crossing from northern Russia to Finnish Lapland.

The last migrant waiting at the hostel in Kandalaksha south of Russia’s Kola Peninsula has now left for the south, reports Severpost with reference to the regional blog site blogg51.ru.

Fifty migrants that had stayed for weeks at the hostel hoping to cross the border into Finland left for Moscow on Saturday. The blog-site reported “the refugees where strongly recommended to leave.”

The last seven asylum seekers that were allowed to go west crossed the border to Finnish Lapland last Monday.

President Vladimir Putin told a meeting of the Federal Security Service (FSB) on February 26th to “tighten monitoring of the refugee flows coming into Russia or transiting onwards to European countries.” Russia’s border guard service is a branch of FSB.

Päivi Kaasinen, Communication Manger with Finland’s Border Guard Headquarters told the Independent Barents Observer the weekend was quiet at the two northernmost border checkpoints to Russia.

“No, the number of asylum seekers during the weekend was zero,” Kassinen said.

More than 1,000 migrants crossed into Finland at Raja-Joosepi and Salla the first eight weeks of 2016. Last autumn, 5,500 migrants came via the Kola Peninsula to Norway’s Storskog border checkpoint.

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Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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