Finland’s eastern border to remain closed
The Government has decided that the border crossing points on the land border between Finland and Russia will remain closed until 11 February 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. The Government decided on the matter in its session on 11 January 2024.
On 14 December 2023, the Government decided to temporarily close the border crossing points on Finland’s eastern border for one month and to centralise the submission of applications for international protection. This was to stop instrumentalised migration at Finland’s eastern border.
“Based on information gathered by the authorities, it is very likely that Russia’s hybrid influence activities will resume and expand as we saw earlier. We therefore consider it necessary to keep the eastern border closed,” says Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen.
The risk that instrumentalised migration will resume at the eastern border poses a serious threat to national security and public order in Finland. According to the authorities, it is clear that the Russian authorities or other actors have been facilitating instrumentalised migration. This phenomenon also involves international crime.
Based on information provided by the authorities, there are still migrants in the neighbouring area waiting for the eastern border to open. There are also more people in the migrants’ countries of origin who wish to migrate to Finland.
The Government will regularly assess the content and scope of the decision as the situation develops in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior and other public authorities. The decision will be repealed or amended if it is no longer necessary to prevent a serious threat to national security or public order. The Ministry of the Interior is also examining alternative ways to put an end to the phenomenon.