EU guards to remain at Finnish-Russian border until at least autumn

File photo. The continued Frontex presence on Finland’s border with Russia includes patrol vehicles and surveillance equipment. (Marika Anttonen / Yle News)

Border guards from the European agency Frontex look set to remain at Finland’s frontier with Russia throughout the summer and into the autumn months, according to a report on Monday by news group Uutissuomalainen.

“We have proposed to Frontex that their border guards should continue to assist us in controlling the land border along the eastern front until the end of October. Frontex has not yet responded to our request, but we consider it very likely that the assistance will continue,” Marko Saareks of the Finnish Interior Ministry said.

The continued Frontex presence on Finland’s border with Russia includes patrol vehicles and surveillance equipment.

The agency sent a total of around 50 border guards and other staff to Finland towards the end of last year, as Finnish authorities grappled with a significant increase in the number of undocumented migrants arriving at eastern border checkpoints.

The Finnish Border Guard reached an agreement with the EU in January for Frontext guards to remain at the Finnish-Russian border until the summer.

The number of Frontex staff will also remain the same until the autumn.

“If the situation at the eastern border worsens, we will receive additional staff from Frontex if necessary. The situation will dictate the need, but the number of additional staff could be between 100 and 200 border guards,” Saareks noted.

Finland’s frontier with Russia has been closed to cross-border traffic since late last year, and will remain shut for an indefinite period, the Finnish government announced earlier this month.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: U.S. report claims Trudeau told NATO Canada will never meet military spending target, CBC News

Norway: Norwegian border town finally scraps cooperation agreement with Russian neighbor, The Independent Barents Observer

Denmark: Danish policy prioritizes low-conflict Arctic amidst Russian tensions, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Finland’s eastern border to remain shut indefinitely, including boat harbours, Yle News

IcelandIceland authorizes U.S. submarine service visits, Eye on the Arctic

RussiaAs NATO forces move north for exercise, Northern Fleet sails out frigates, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Swedish forces exercise in northern Norway as country officially joins NATO, Reuters

United States: U.S. nominates Alaskan as first Arctic ambassador, Eye on the Arctic

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