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News > Russia

Russia's Murmansk Region on Alert After Finland Closes Border

  • Migrants at a crossing on the Finnish border, Nov. 23, 2023.

    Migrants at a crossing on the Finnish border, Nov. 23, 2023. | Photo: X/ @HucknLeberry

Published 24 November 2023 (23 hours 29 minutes ago)
Opinion

Migrants are exposed to a critical situation due to Finnish obstructions to their entry into Europe.

On Thursday, Murmansk Governor Andrey Chibis said that a high-alert regime has been introduced to ensure the safety of local residents. This regime will remain in force until December 23.

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Russia Regrets Finland's Plans to Shut Border Crossings

"The governor of Russia’s Murmansk region has declared a state of emergency. He says Finland’s decision to close all but one border crossing, located in the region, will likely cause an influx of foreign nationals trying to enter the E.U. through the area," Meduza reported.

The Murmask measures were taken after Finland announced on Wednesday to close almost all checkpoints on its border with Russia, except the one in the far north adjacent to Russia's Murmansk region.

The number of foreign citizens wishing to enter Finland through Murmansk region may increase several times as a result of the closure, Governor Chibis said.

He noted that as many as 400 foreigners were waiting to enter Finland from Murmansk on Wednesday, and only 50 of them were let through. The number was expected to rise further.

"Authorities in Murmansk plan to establish three reception points for migrants heading towards Finland. The centers will be located in Murmansk City and the towns of Kola and Kandalaksha," the Barents Observer reported.

After closing four checkpoints on the border with Russia last week, Finland decided to temporarily close three more checkpoints on the border with Russia, leaving only the northernmost checkpoint "Raja-Jooseppi" operating.

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Finland should have raised its concerns in order to work out a mutually acceptable solution.

She also said that Russian authorities were willing to work with Finnish officials to reach an agreement on the issues.

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