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Interior Min-Russia Border Situation A 'Threat To Society'


Wires carrying comments from Finnish Interior Minsiter Mari Rantanen claiming that "We have information that thousands of people on the Russian side [of the border] are waiting to get to Finland,". Rantanen, hailing from the right-wing Finns Party, adds that "This situation is a threat to society." The Finnish gov't has closed crossing points at the border until at least 14 April having accused Russia of funneling migrants from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa towards these points in an effort to sow social discord and raise security threats.

  • On 19 Feb, RFE/RL reportedthat the gov't would seek new legislation, "to boost border and national security and fight what it calls "instrumentalized migration," ." Russia has denied the accusations of channelling migrants to the border, despite similar tacticshaving been deployed by Moscow's ally Belarus in recent years following the EU imposing sanctions against Minsk following the 2020 presidential election, widely viewed as fraudulent.
  • Finland signed a bilateral security agreement with the US in Dec 2023, and is set to host an increasing number of NATO troops and equipment as the alliance looks to fortify the lengthy Russo-Finnish border, notably at the northern bases of Ivalo and Sodankyla.
  • The election of former PM Alexander Stubb is not expected to alter Finnish foreign policy. Stubb has advocated the same hard-line on Russia as outgoing President Sauli Niinisto.
Map of Nordic NATO States

Source: Foreign Policy

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