: RFE/RL: Russia, Finland agree to temporarily close Arctic border to migrants

12:20 Mar. 23, 2016

RFE/RL: Russia, Finland agree to temporarily close Arctic border to migrants

Vladimir Putin, right, meets with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia, March 22, 2016 (AP Photo)

Crossings at the Salla and Raja-Jooseppi entry points will be reserved only for Finnish, Russian, and Belarusian citizens

Russia and Finland have agreed to temporary restrictions at two Arctic border crossings following an increase in migrants seeking asylum there this year.

Under a deal clinched by presidents Vladimir Putin and Sauli Niinisto in Moscow on March 22, crossings at the Salla and Raja-Jooseppi entry points will be reserved only for Finnish, Russian, and Belarusian citizens and family members for six months.

Watch also Abandoned cars line Russia-Finland border as asylum seekers take Arctic route into Europe

"The aim of this restriction is to prevent organized illegal immigration," the Finnish president's office said.

Watch also Migrants in Greece wonder what next after signing of EU-Turkey deal

Finland's 1,340-kilometer border with Russia provided a relatively easy way for migrants to get into the European Union's passport-free Schengen area. Close to 1,000 asylum seekers entered Finland from Russia in the first two months of 2016, up from about 700 in all of 2015. Full story

comments powered by Disqus

RELATED NEWS

News15:27 Dec. 4, 2016
Shootout during a Spec Op: 5 policemen dead
News16:00 Nov. 28, 2016
Suspension mechanism to be dicussed on November 29 - RFE/RL
News12:15 Nov. 25, 2016
Record number of ceasefire violations in Donbas since 2014 - OSCE
News18:40 Nov. 24, 2016
Iraq suicide attack: at least 80 killed
News18:27 Nov. 24, 2016
European Council president speaks Ukrainian at Brussels summit
Ukraine Today WEEKLY DIGEST
Subscribe to receive regular email updates about Ukraine and Eastern Europe
vk154998