Previously, the Russian authorities did not allow passengers to travel from Russia to the Finnish border if the passenger did not have the required travel documents.

Photograph: The Finnish Border Guard

The Finnish Border Guard calls the number of people arriving at border crossings in southeastern Finland without necessary travel documents “higher than usual.”

Since the beginning of August 2023, 91 people have arrived at the border crossings.

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“The majority of these people did not have the necessary visa to enter the country. These persons are citizens of third countries and have used Russia for transit,” the border guard notes in a statement.

Mari Rantanen (Finns), the minister of the interior, confirmed that the behavior of the Russian authorities at the eastern border has changed in recent months.

“According to the Border Guard’s current assessment, this is a phenomenon of illegal entry, where people deliberately enter Finland via Russia without the documents required for entry. The Russian authorities have changed their behavior in the past, so now travel from Russia to Finland is allowed despite the lack of documents,” Rantanen told the Finnish tabloid Ilta-Sanomat.

According to the border guard, the Russian authorities have changed their behavior at least at the border with southeastern Finland.

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The Border Guard is closely monitoring the development of the situation and, together with other security authorities, is assessing the nature and impact of the phenomenon on public order and security in Finland. Based on this assessment, further measures may be taken under the law.

“We in Finland are prepared and will act if necessary to deal with the situation,” Rantanen said.

“According to the government program, the government is ready to use all its legal powers if necessary in situations that seriously endanger border security. We are awake,” Rantanen concluded.

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