Helsinki (Uttam Hindu News): The Finnish government has ordered the closure of four crossing points on the country’s border with Russia in an effort to stem the surge of asylum seekers. Nearly 300 asylum seekers arrived in the country this week, according to Finnish border guards, the BBC reports. There were 100 such arrivals on Friday alone.
The Valimaa, Nuijamaa, Imatra and Niraala border posts in south-east Finland were closed on Friday night after Helsinki accused Moscow of sending migrants to the crossing in retaliation for the Nordic nation joining NATO.
The Finnish Border Guard said barriers would be installed at four crossings after seeing an increase in illegal border crossings by citizens of countries including Syria, Yemen and Iraq.
Confirming the closure of four border crossings, Prime Minister Petteri Orpo pointed out that the points of Salla and Vartius in Finland’s far north will remain open for asylum applications.
He also accused Russia of deliberately helping people reach the border without proper documents. Responding to Finland’s decision, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday night that “the Finnish authorities have taken the path of destroying bilateral relations”, Russian state news agency TASS said. Finland has a 1,340 km long border with Russia, which is the longest border in Europe.