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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Crisis on the border. The head of Finnish diplomacy comments on the influx of migrants from Belarus. He wants to strengthen the activities of Frontex

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The head of the Finnish Migration Office, Jari Kahkonen, said on Tuesday that around 20-30 refugees, mostly from Iraq, arrived in Finland in the autumn through Belarus. The government is considering temporarily closing the borders if the situation worsens. “This is a hybrid attack and you must counter it together,” Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said on Tuesday.

– This is a hybrid attack and it must be opposed together within the European Union – said Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, who is visiting Latvia’s foreign minister Edgars Rinkevics in Helsinki. According to the Finnish minister, the activities of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex should be strengthened.


Meeting of Finnish and Latvian chiefs Pekka Haavisto and Edgars Rinkevics MAURI RATILAINEN / PAP / EPA

Finland will not hold back asylum applications

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The head of the Finnish Ministry of the Interior, Maria Ohisalo, announced that Finland is actively monitoring the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border. In her opinion, at the borders of the European Union we are dealing with “state smuggling of people and the situation is particularly serious”.

The crisis on the border with Belarus worsened on Monday, November 8MON / Twitter

However, the minister made a reservation that in the event of the closure of the borders of Finland, which also guards the external border of the EU (over 1,300 km of the land border with Russia), the possibility of submitting asylum applications would be maintained, in line with international agreements.

Ohisalo, a politician from the Green party, did not answer the local media’s question as to whether Poland and the Baltic states were complying with the law in this matter.

Finland expects an influx of several tens of thousands of migrants

– We are prepared even for the influx of tens of thousands of people, be it through the Baltic states and Poland, or across the border with Russia – admitted in an interview for radio Yle, the head of the Finnish Migration Office, Jari Kahkonen. However, he concluded that this was “unlikely” in the near future.

This year, around 1,000 asylum applications have been filed in Finland from January to October. During the autumn crisis at the borders of the European Union with Belarus, about 20-30 refugees, mainly from Iraq, came to Finland.

It is not known, however, whether these people got across the border with Poland or through the Baltic countries – emphasized in the report of the Finnish broadcaster. Local press in Finland reminds that in 2015-2016, during the migration crisis, a record number of tens of thousands of refugees came to the country.

Main photo source: MAURI RATILAINEN / PAP / EPA

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