Activities of the Ministry of the Interior’s branch of government in the Ukraine crisis
As part of the European Union, Finland bears its share of responsibility for the impacts of the situation in Ukraine. In particular, we want to protect people fleeing the war. The Ministry of the Interior coordinates humanitarian material assistance provided by Finland and the reception of Ukrainian refugees in Finland.
The number of people fleeing Ukraine depends on how long the military actions continue. At the moment (24 March), it is estimated that about 40,000–80,000 Ukrainians could come to Finland to apply for international protection this year.
It is also necessary to prepare for the possible effects of the situation in Ukraine on the internal security of the Union. For example, we must prepare for possible hybrid influencing activities.
The internal security authorities are on call 24/7 and are well prepared for incidents as part of their daily work. They are looking after everyday security in Finland. The authorities are monitoring and anticipating developments in the situation in Ukraine.
Ministry is responsible for law drafting
The Ministry of the Interior prepares legislative amendments within its mandate and is preparing for the consequences of Russia’s attack on Ukraine in close cooperation with the agencies in its administrative branch and other ministries.
The Ministry is also responsible for international and EU cooperation related to its tasks. It is important that the EU Member States work together in this respect, exchange information closely and coordinate the measures together.
Ministry of the Interior coordinates Finland’s civilian assistance provided abroad
The Department for Rescue Services of the Ministry of the Interior coordinates the civilian assistance provided by the Finnish Government to Ukraine through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
Finland may provide civilian assistance upon the request of another country, the EU or an international organisation. Assistance may take the form of rescue teams or expert and material assistance. Assistance may also be provided in relation to natural disasters or man-made conflicts and major accidents.
Migration authorities prepare to receive Ukrainians
The Ministry of the Interior, the Finnish Immigration Service and the Finnish Border Guard are closely monitoring the migration situation in Ukraine. Finland has increased the exchange of information both nationally within the central government and with its international partners. The sharing of up-to-date information on the situation has been intensified within the EU.
The Ministry of the Interior has also appointed a cross-sectoral group to coordinate migration to Finland following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Cooperation within the group will ensure the smoothness of practices related to entry into, reception, and staying and working in the country.
Authorities in the administrative branch of the Ministry of the Interior are prepared both to receive a large number of migrants during a short period of time and to face long-term migration pressure. The authorities are capable of rapidly increasing the places of accommodation in reception centres, directing migrants to registration centres, if necessary, and concentrating their resources on the rapid processing of applications.
The Finnish Immigration Service maintains the reception system and makes decisions on permits issued to people coming from Ukraine.
The Border Guard monitors entry into Finland
The Border Guard is responsible for border checks at Finland’s external borders, examines the conditions for entry and receives asylum applications. The Border Guard follows national and EU policies when assessing the conditions for entry and when deciding to ease them . The Border Guard ensures border security and the management of migrants at the external border.
The Border Guard is also prepared for border security incidents. The authorities have drawn up joint action plans for different situations.
The Border Guard provides guidelines on entering Finland on its website. The Border Guard helpline on cross-border traffic is available at +358 295 420 100 (weekdays from 8.00 to 16.00). The guidelines for border crossing should primarily be checked on the website, as the helpline is experiencing a backlog.
Police register persons arriving in Finland
In connection with the situation in Ukraine, the police are responsible for receiving asylum applications from potential asylum seekers and registering them.
An application for international protection, i.e. an asylum application, must be lodged with the police or the Border Guard upon entry into the country or as soon as possible after entry. All police departments are prepared to receive asylum applications and register asylum seekers. After the application has been submitted, the processing of the asylum matter will be transferred to the Finnish Immigration Service.
Ministry of the Interior and Finnish Security and Intelligence Service support national security
The Ministry of the Interior is extensively involved in the handling of national security matters with the Government and other ministries. The Ministry of the Interior guides civilian intelligence activities and participates in rapidly developing situations that threaten the functioning of society and in efforts to strengthen hybrid and cyber security in Finland.
As a result of Russia’s military actions, the Ministry of the Interior has intensified its preparedness and contingency measures in its administrative branch.
As an agency operating under the Ministry of the Interior, the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service is tasked with gathering and analysing information and reporting to the state leadership on the situation picture and, in particular, on future developments. In addition, the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service combats intelligence gathering targeted at Finland. The task of the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service is to prevent confidential information from falling into the hands of foreign states and to prevent influence from being exerted against Finland’s interests.
Ministry of the Interior coordinates the preparedness of rescue services in Finland
Preparedness refers to preparing in advance for various major accidents, incidents and emergencies. The purpose of preparedness is to ensure a minimum interruption of the tasks of rescue services in all situations.
Finnish authorities see to the measures required to protect the population
Civilian authorities are responsible for protecting the population during armed conflicts. The population is also protected in the event of incidents under normal conditions, such as chemical accidents and radiological incidents.
Individual emergency planning is an important part of society's resilience
People should be able to cope at home for 72 hours during various incidents, such as disruptions in electricity or water supply.