55 officers sent by the European Union (EU) border protection agency “Frontex” arrived at the Finnish border with Russia. Most of them will be responsible for monitoring the border with Russia, Frontex spokesperson Piotr Switalski said Thursday evening. It is expected that the officers will work here until the end of January, but this period may be extended “as necessary”.
Frontex announced at the end of November the sending of border guards to Finland. In recent months, Finnish authorities have registered around 1,000 migrants from the Middle East and Africa, mainly Iraq, Yemen and Somalia, on the eastern border with Russia.
The Helsinki government accuses Russia of sending undocumented migrants across the border in order to destabilize the situation in Finland, which has been part of NATO since April. The European Commission spoke of the “shameful” “instrumentalization” of migrants by Moscow. Frontex representative P. Switalski said: “We know that migration pressure is one of the tools used by the Kremlin. So we can expect this to continue to be the case. »
Commenting on the current situation on the Finnish-Russian border, Finnish border guard Villė Joskitt told the AFP news agency that there were still “large groups of migrants from third countries” near the border. . Although some of them have moved to other regions of Russia in recent days, the current situation in the border area is said to continue “for a long time.”
According to the BBC, after the Finnish border was closed, Russian authorities began rounding up migrants and recruiting them for the war against Ukraine. The reason for these detentions is that their Russian visas have expired. Human rights activists have told the BBC of cases where refugees from Iraq and Somalia were recruited into the war. According to their data, the Russian services have succeeded in recruiting dozens of foreigners.
Due to the growing number of incoming migrants, Finland has closed all eight border crossing points with Russia until the end of November. Russia and Finland share a 1,300 km land border. Relations between the two countries deteriorated sharply after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. in February
In April, Finland joined NATO after decades of neutrality. Moscow called it an “attack on Russian security” and threatened “retaliatory measures.”
Source: The Delfi