STOCKHOLM, November 20. /TASS/. EU countries must protect their borders from the influx of migrants who do not meet the criteria for asylum seekers; in these conditions, it is necessary to act based on national security priorities. This was stated by Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at a joint press conference with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda. The broadcast was conducted by the Yle TV and radio channel.
“It has now become impossible to deport migrants who do not meet the criteria for asylum seekers. Crossing the border means that a person remains in the country regardless of whether he meets the criteria or not. This means that the balance between human rights and national security is no longer maintained. This is why we must take measures to protect ourselves,” Niinistö said. According to him, respect for human rights is important, but now it is necessary to take into account national security issues.
The head of state also noted that the problem of protecting borders from migrants concerns not only Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland, but also the entire EU. He expressed hope that together representatives of these countries will be able to “raise this issue even more prominently” at the level of the community as a whole.
Finnish newspaper Iltalehti reported earlier, citing sources, that Finnish authorities plan to close the entire border with Russia on Wednesday night. On the night of November 17–18, Finland closed four border crossing points on its eastern border: Vaalimaa, Nuijamaa, Imatre and Niirale. Thus, according to Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, the authorities are reacting to the influx of “third country citizens” to the eastern border, which has increased recently. As explained by the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic, Marie Rantanen, the decision is valid until February 18, 2024.
Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that Russia deeply regrets Finland’s possible decision to close the remaining checkpoints on the border. Official representative Ministry of Foreign Affairs Russia’s Maria Zakharova previously stated that Finland’s decision to close part of the border crossings on the border with Russia creates new dividing lines in Europe; Moscow’s response to these actions will be worked out in an interdepartmental format.