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EU sends border police reinforcements to Finland over fears that Russia is behind a migrant inflow

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HELSINKI — The European Union’s border company stated Thursday that it’ll ship dozens of officers and tools as reinforcements to Finland to assist police its borders amid suspicion that Russia is behind an inflow of migrants arriving to the nation.

Frontex stated that it expects a “important reinforcement” made up of fifty border guard officers and different employees, together with patrol automobiles and extra tools, to be put in place as quickly as subsequent week.

Round 600 migrants with out correct visas and documentation have arrived in Finland thus far this month in contrast to a couple dozen in September and October. They embrace folks from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Kenya, Morocco and Somalia.

On Wednesday, Finnish border guards and troopers started erecting limitations, together with concrete obstacles topped with barbed-wire at some crossing factors on the Nordic nation’s prolonged border with Russia.

The federal government determined to shut 4 busy Russia border crossings in southeastern Finland final week over suspicions of foul play by Russian border officers. It plans to solely go away one Arctic crossing level open for migrants searching for asylum. The Kremlin denies the allegations.

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Frontex Government Director Hans Leijtens stated that sending border reinforcements is “an illustration of the European Union’s unified stand towards hybrid challenges affecting certainly one of its members.”

Finland has 9 crossing factors on the border with Russia, which runs 1,340 kilometers (830 miles) and serves because the EU’s easternmost frontier in addition to a big a part of NATO’s northeastern flank. Finnish authorities imagine that Russia has grow to be extra hostile towards Finland because the nation joined NATO in April.

EU Dwelling Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson stated this week that the challenges on Finland’s border gave her a sense of “deja vu,” two years after Belarus started driving migrants into Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in what European officers stated was an try to destabilize the 27-nation bloc.

“The Finnish border is the EU’s border,” Johansson informed EU lawmakers in a message of assist to Helsinki. “The European Union is behind you. You possibly can rely on our full assist to guard the EU border and uphold elementary rights.”

The governor of Russia’s northern Murmansk area lately stated the area could be placed on “excessive alert” after Finland introduced that it could shut all border crossings between the 2 international locations aside from one.

Gov. Andrei Chibis stated that he anticipated the variety of foreigners attempting to cross to Finland from the final remaining open border publish within the Murmansk area to “exponentially” improve.

Chibis stated there have been 400 folks ready to enter Finland on the extra southerly Finnish Salla border publish on Wednesday, of which solely 50 had been allowed to cross.


Lorne {Cook} reported from Brussels.


Comply with AP’s protection of worldwide migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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