Skip to content

Finland to continue restrictions at eastern border to manage the situation – Government prepared to take further measures

Ministry of the Interior
Publication date 12.12.2023 14.55
Press release

Finland will continue restrictions at the eastern border. The border crossing points will remain closed, with the exception of the border crossing points of Vaalimaa and Niirala, which will be opened for traffic on Thursday 14 December. The Government will close the entire eastern border again if instrumentalised migration at the eastern border continues.

The Government decided the matter at an extraordinary session on 12 December. The new decision will remain in force until 14 January 2024.

“We cannot tell whether things have changed for the better without lifting some restrictions. That is why, after careful consideration, we are opening two border crossing points in a controlled manner. However, we are prepared to quickly impose restrictions again. Finland will ensure its national security,” says Prime Minister Petteri Orpo.

All border crossings at the eastern border to be centralised at Vaalimaa and Niirala
During the validity of the decision, people crossing the land border between Finland and Russia must use the Vaalimaa and Niirala border crossing points. Finnish citizens will also have to use open border crossing points. Goods traffic through Vainikkala will continue.

At the eastern border, it will only be possible to apply for international protection at the border crossing points of Vaalimaa and Niirala.

“Nevertheless, we would like to emphasise that people should not travel to the Finnish-Russian border under these circumstances. Finland will make sure that our eastern border does not become a new pathway for instrumentalised migration into Europe,” says Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen.

According to the assessment of Finnish authorities, it is clear that the threat has not passed. It is likely that a significant number of potential migrants remain in Russian territory. The Russian authorities still have the capacity to instrumentalise migration towards Finland.

The Government and authorities are closely monitoring the situation at Finland’s eastern border. Finland will ensure the security of its borders, public order and national security.