The decision means that all border crossing points on the land border between Finland and Russia will be closed until December 13.

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP) and Interior Minister Mari Rantanen (Finns). Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY

THE GOVERNMENT has decided to close the entire eastern border. The decision will take effect on the night between Wednesday and Thursday at 00:00.

The government made the announcement at a press conference on Tuesday. Before that, the government met for a general session.


Petteri Orpo, the prime minister, Mari Rantanen, the minister of the interior and Matti Sarasmaa, the head of the border and maritime department of the Border Guard, were present at the press conference at the Government Palace on Tuesday, November 28, 2023. Photograph: Lauri Heikkinen/The prime minister’s office

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP) stressed at the press conference that the phenomenon (where undocumented asylum seekers arrive at the border in masses) is a threat to national security and that asylum applications at the eastern border will now be restricted for a short period.

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Prime Minister Orpo was asked, what happens if the border is opened later and new asylum seekers arrive and the phenomenon expands again?

Orpo said that it would be best if there were no need to revert to restrictions. “That would be in the interests of Russians living in Finland.”

“Russia created this situation,” Orpo said. “It can also put an end to it.”