Finland drafting proposals on border crossing restrictions due to illegal migrants from Russia
The Finnish Interior Ministry is urgently drafting proposals for the government regarding border crossing restrictions, Interior Minister Mari Rantanen said.
"The government may decide to restrict or close border checkpoints should such restrictions be necessary to prevent a serious threat to public peace, national security or public health. The Interior Ministry will present the issue, and the government will decide," Rantanen told the Yle broadcaster on Tuesday.
The ministry is drafting the proposals due to the increased attempts at crossing the border from Russia, she said.
According to the Finnish Border Guard, several dozens of people, mostly foreigners transiting Russia, are trying to cross the border daily without proper travel documents through the Vaalimaa, Nuijamaa and Imatra checkpoints in southeastern Finland.
Border guards say their Russian colleagues used to prohibit people without proper travel documents from crossing into Finland but now neglect their duties.
"The situation looks organized," the Finnish Border Guard said. In turn, Finnish Defense Minister Antti Edvard Hakkanen said on Tuesday, "There are signs of controlled arrivals."
Earlier, Finland detected intensified bicycle traffic on the border with Russia and prohibited bicycles from crossing from Russia from November 9. Deputy Commander of the Border Guard in southeastern Finland Jukka Lukkari said that an increased number of illegal migrants, mostly transiting Russia, started arriving in Finland by bike, and about 30 cases of the sort were registered last week alone.
He also noted that about 3,000 people crossed the eastern border of Finland both ways daily through the Vaalimaa, Nuijamaa and Imatra checkpoints in southeastern Finland.