Finland to close more border crossing points
The Government has decided to close the border crossing points of Kuusamo, Salla and Vartius at the eastern border as of Friday 24 November 2023 at 00.00. All border crossings at the eastern border will be centralised at the border crossing point of Raja-Jooseppi. The Government decided on these new restrictions at an extraordinary session on 22 November 2023. The decision will remain in force until 23 December 2023.
Traffic across Finland's eastern border has continued despite earlier restrictions and has also expanded to other border crossing points. According to the assessment of the Finnish authorities and the Government, instrumentalised migration from Russia and the escalation of the situation pose a serious threat to national security and public order.
According to the observations made and information received by the Border Guard and other authorities, it is clear that foreign authorities and other actors have played a role in facilitating the entry of persons crossing the border into Finland. The Russian authorities are allowing this to happen, which is a change from their earlier procedures. The situation also involves international crime.
Since the beginning of August, approximately 700 third-country nationals have arrived in Finland without a visa via the border crossing points at the eastern border. They have then applied for asylum in Finland.
All border crossings at the eastern border to be centralised at Raja-Jooseppi
People crossing the eastern border between Finland and Russia must use the Raja-Jooseppi crossing point during the validity of the decision. Finnish citizens must also use the Raja-Jooseppi border crossing point. It will not be possible to apply for international protection at any other crossing point at the land border between Finland and Russia.
Decision based on Border Guard Act
According to section 16 of the Border Guard Act, the Government may decide to close border crossing points for a fixed period or until further notice if it is necessary to prevent a serious threat to public order, national security or public health. The Government may also decide to centralise the submission of applications for international protection at one or more border crossing points if needed.
The Government is monitoring the situation at the eastern border in cooperation with authorities. The decision will be repealed or amended if the situation changes.