Finland will close four checkpoints on the border with Russia

The decision will take effect on the night from Friday to Saturday

Финляндия закроет четыре пункта пропуска на границе с Россией

The Finnish government has decided to close four checkpoints on the Russian border: Vaalimaa (Torfyanovka), Nuiyamaa (Lingonberry), Imatra (Svetogorsk) and Niirala (Vartsila). All of them are located in the south-east of the country and are most often used by Russian citizens to enter Suomi. The restrictions will take effect on the night from Friday to Saturday and will remain in effect until February 18 next year. This was stated at today’s briefing by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and Interior Minister Marie Rantanen.

The reason for the decision, according to Yle, was an increase in the number of migrants from the Middle East and Africa who are trying to get from Russia to the EU. For example, on Wednesday, 75 asylum seekers arrived at the MAPP in southeastern Finland, according to Finnish media, and since the beginning of the year their number has increased to 335. Earlier, Marie Rantanen has already stated that in response to this, the border with Russia may be closed.

On November 15, the postponement expired, which exempted tour operators from liability for failure to provide data on tours abroad to the state information system “Electronic voucher”. This is, without exaggeration, a historical event: the first mention of this information system dates back to 2011, and the launch was postponed for many years due to the unavailability of both the product itself and the market.

Today’s decision is being vigorously discussed in chat rooms dedicated to trips to Finland. Users are wondering: will border crossings be closed to citizens of EU countries? Options are also being discussed on how to get to Suomi now. Several automobile checkpoints remain open, but all of them are located in the north – where Finland borders Karelia and the Murmansk region. The southernmost one, Vartius (Luttia), is located more than 900 kilometers from St. Petersburg. Someone is thinking of going to the European Union through Estonia, and someone even through the Norwegian Kirkenes.

As previously reported, since November 15, Finland has banned entry into the country by bicycle at all nine checkpoints. At the same time, restrictions for cyclists at border crossings in the south-east of the country began to operate on November 9. Even earlier, it was forbidden to cross the Finnish border on foot.

Recall that in mid-September, the European Commission published recommendations that restrict the access of Russians to the EU territory by private cars. The authorities of each country had to make decisions separately. Finland imposed a ban on cars with Russian license plates on September 16.

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