FSB pushes border opening with Finland; 18 walkers crossed illegally Thursday

Finland shares a 1,240 km land border with Russia that is not allowed to cross in the terrain. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)

Finnish border guard on Thursday arrested 18 people from the Middle East who walked the snow from Russia.

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.

A screenshot of the FSB announcement. (The Independent Barents Observer)

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.

FSB Border Guards in the Murmansk region are in charge of the border towards Norway and Finland. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)

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.

Related stories from around the North: 

Finland: Finland suspects 1,000 asylum seekers of committing border offences, Yle News

Norway: Norway nixes border surveillance helicopter despite Murmansk migrant queues, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman blames Finland, West for border issues, Yle News

SwedenEU deploys additional border guards to Finland, Radio Sweden

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

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

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *