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Finland’s entire eastern border closed again

Government Communications DepartmentMinistry of the Interior
Publication date 14.12.2023 18.23
Press release

The Government has decided to close border crossing points at the land border between Finland and Russia up to 14th of January 2024. The decision will take effect on the 15th of December 2023 at 20.00. Applications for international protection will not be accepted at the crossing points on the Finnish-Russian border. A decision to this effect was made by the extraordinary session of the Government on the 14th of December.

The Vaalimaa and Niirala border crossing points were opened to traffic on the 14th of December.  The plan was to gradually lift restrictions on border traffic at the land border between Finland and Russia and to monitor the effects of the removal of these restrictions.  However, it was found that instrumented entry into Finland continued on Thursday.

“This is a sign that the Russian authorities are continuing their hybrid operation against Finland. This is something that Finland will not tolerate,” says Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen

According to the Finnish authorities, it is clear that this type of entry in Finland has been aided by foreign authorities or other actors. Elements of international crime are also involved. This type of irregular immigration and the prospect of its escalation pose a serious threat to national security and public order in Finland.

The Government determined that since this type of entry into the country continued, it was necessary to pass a Government resolution to close the border crossing points at Vaalimaa and Niirala again. As a result, applications for international protection at Finland’s external borders will only be received by border crossing points at airports and seaports.

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