Finland orders military to erect barrier on border with Russia

Finland orders military to erect barrier on border with Russia

At Finland’s Vartius checkpoint on the border with Russia, temporary fences are being erected in the border zone against the backdrop of an influx of illegal migrants. The country's armed forces provide assistance to border guards in the construction effort.

This was announced by the head of the border checkpoint, Captain Jouko Kinnunen, Ukrinform reports with reference to Yle.

"Defensive fortifications, that is, temporary obstacles on the state border, are being built in the immediate vicinity of the barriers. This measure is to ensure the operation of the border crossing," Kinnunen said.

The management of the border guard service says last night was rather peaceful at border checkpoints. On Saturday, 67 people requested asylum.

Read also: Finland one of biggest EU donors of assistance to Ukraine's energy sector - minister

However, according to Kinnunen, it was discovered at the Vartius border crossing that some asylum seekers who arrived in Finland on Saturday were "pushed" from the Russian border post towards Finland’s territory against their will.

He added that after that the gates were closed behind the group, which made it impossible for them to return to Russian territory.

"The behavior of the last group of 20 showed they did not seek to cross into Finland," Kinnunen said.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, Interior Minister Mari Rantanen said Finland was closing four checkpoints on the border with Russia in response to the growing number of asylum seekers. The Imatru, Niiralu, Nuijamaa, and Vaalimaa border crossings will suspend operations until February 18.

Photo: Timo Sihvonen / Yle

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