Kremlin-Finland Has Chosen Path Of Confrontation, It's A Big Mistake
Wires reporting comments from Kremlin spox Dmitri Peskov regarding Finland closing four border crossings with Russia. State-run TASS reports Peskov saying that Finland is choosing a path of confrontation with Russia, which he labels a "big mistake". As MNI's Political Risk team noted in a 16 Nov bullet, the Finnish gov't is set to close four of the nine border crossings with Russia from midnight on 17 Nov amid what Helsinki has claimed is an organised attempt by Russian authorities to funnel asylum seekers to the Finnish border. The gov't of PM Petteri Orpo claims that the efforts are in response to Finland's accession to NATO and closer defence cooperation with the US.
- The situation would appear to mimic that on the Belarusian-Polish border in the summer, where Warsaw and the EU accused President Alexander Lukashenko of seeking to destabilise the blocby funneling migrants towards the frontier.
- TASS reportsRussian Foreign Minsitry spox Maria Zakharova dismissing Finland's allegations, stating “such claims are absolutely groundless.” TASS: "She emphasized that Finland’s decision to close border crossings on the border with Russia creates new dividing lines in Europe and that Moscow’s response to these actions will be worked out in an interdepartmental format."