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Media: Finland to keep its Russia border crossings closed amid hybrid war concerns

NATO accession Sweden flags
Ceremony for the accession of Finland to NATO, 04 APR 2023. Credit: NATO/Flickr
Media: Finland to keep its Russia border crossings closed amid hybrid war concerns

Finland is extending the closure of its border with Russia for another month amid concerns that the Kremlin is trying to undermine the Nordic country’s security by sending thousands of migrants over the frontier, as per Euronews.

Earlier, the Finnish government accused Russia of funneling migrants to the crossings in retaliation for its decision to increase defense cooperation with the US and accession to NATO, an assertion dismissed by the Kremlin.

The country had closed the border in 2022 after 1,300 migrants without proper documents or visas had crossed the border – an unusually high number. Most of them were from the Middle East and Africa – particularly from Syria, Somalia, and Yemen.

In December, US President Joe Biden said Russia might be planning new wars “if Putin takes Ukraine.” In turn, Putin called the US president’s remark on further Russian attacks “complete nonsense,” adding that his country had no interest in fighting with the Western military alliance. However, he warned of “problems” with neighboring Finland after it joined the Alliance.

The Guardian: Putin warns of “problems” to come on Finland-Russia border after Helsinki joins NATO

Migrants are currently being kept at reception centers, waiting for a decision from authorities.

While many people in Finland also believe that Moscow’s actions are retaliation for the Nordic country joining NATO, Finnish security experts say Russia’s main motive for such migrant maneuvers remains unclear.

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