Situation at Finland’s eastern border
The border crossing points on the land border between Finland and Russia will be closed until 14 April 2024. It will not be possible to submit applications for international protection at any border crossing points on the land border between Finland and Russia during that time.
Approximately 1,300 asylum seekers arrived in Finland via the eastern border in November, December and January. According to the authorities, it is clear that foreign authorities or other actors have been facilitating instrumentalised migration. This phenomenon and the risk of its escalation pose a serious threat to national security and public order in Finland.
The closed border crossing points at Vaalimaa and Niirala were reopened for traffic on Thursday 14 December 2023. The aim was to gradually lift the restrictions on cross-border traffic at the land border between Finland and Russia and to monitor the effects of lifting the restrictions. Instrumentalised entry at the eastern border resumed once the restrictions were lifted, and the decision was made to close the entire eastern border again. In its sessions on 11 January and 8 February, the Government decided to keep the border closed.
The restrictions on entry are based on the Border Guard Act. The content and scope of the decision will be regularly assessed as the situation develops. The decision will be repealed or amended if it is no longer necessary in order to ensure public order and national security.
Government's border decisions (available in Finnish)
- Decision on 16 November to close the border crossing points at Vaalimaa, Nuijamaa, Imatra and Niirala starting on 18 November
- Decision on 22 November to also close the border crossing points at Kuusamo, Salla and Vartius starting on 24 November
- Decision on 28 November to close the remaining open border crossing point, Raja-Jooseppi, starting on 30 November
- Decision on 12 December to reopen the border crossing points at Vaalimaa, Nuijamaa, Imatra and Niirala starting on 14 December
- Decision on 14 December to close the entire eastern border again
- Decision on 11 January to keep the eastern border closed
- Decision on 8 February to keep the eastern border closed
- Restrictions at the border crossing points on the eastern border of Finland | Finnish Border Guard
- Frequently asked questions about the situation at Finland’s eastern border
- Situation at the eastern border | Ministry of the Interior
- Customer service continues normally at other customs offices than Vaalimaa, Imatra, Nuijamaa and Niirala | Finnish Customs