Refugee seekers attempting to access Finland from Russia clash with security personnel

Altercations broke out at a Finland border entry from Russia on Friday as 163 migrants on bicycles endeavored to request asylum there. Their effort occurred just prior to the scheduled closure of four passage points along Finland’s extensive boundary with Russia.

Helsinki aims to terminate the recent influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa to its border, which it asserts is being encouraged by Moscow.

Border guards report that approximately 300 asylum seekers have arrived in the past week. Following the invasion of Ukraine, Finland’s decision to join NATO in April greatly incensed Russia. For years, Finland had remained non-aligned but changed its position after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and Interior Minister Mari Rantanen commanded the closure of the southeastern passage points—Imatra, Niirala, Nuijamaa, and Vaalimaa. Presently, there are nine entry points, with one exclusively allocated for rail travel.

The border spans a total of 1,340 kilometers, primarily traversing dense forests in the south, extending all the way to the rugged terrain in the Arctic north.

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