Russia letting more refugees make their way to Finland
Finland has registered a rise in the number of individuals arriving at its border with Russia without a visa since August. Although this figure is only around 100 so far, as Russia has previously turned back such persons at its own checkpoints, Finnish commentators believe the increase is no coincidence. In fact they have been expecting such a development since last year.
A clear message
Helsingin Sanomat is not surprised by the increase:
“This is clearly a message from Russia to Finland. Russia wants to remind people that it could create a refugee problem on the Finnish border similar to the one it has created with Belarus on the Polish and Lithuanian borders. Russia’s message is not exactly a surprise. Since deciding to join Nato Finland has had to reckon with various actions from Russia. Russia is also known for weaponising refugees.”
Be on guard
Finland should brace itself for more refugees, says Kaleva:
“In allowing third-country nationals to cross the Finnish border without Schengen documents, Russia is not violating international agreements. However up to now the Russian authorities had prevented these people from entering on their side of the border on the basis of an agreement between Finland and Russia. ... In any case, the Finnish authorities must be ready to react quickly if the situation deteriorates. Russia is no longer a partner for Finland, but a neighbour that operates with many means and is up to no good.”