Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo Defines Russian Activity at the Border as a "Hybrid Attack"

Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo has described the situation at the border with Russia as a hybrid attack and announced plans for border construction and legislative changes

Petteri Orpo
Petteri Orpo / FinnishGovernment, CC BY 2.0 DEED

The head of the Finnish government, Petteri Orpo, expressed the need to develop a strategy for managing the increasing number of asylum seekers at the border with Russia, which led to the closure of Finnish border points.

In an interview with the national Finnish broadcaster Yle, he characterized Russia's actions as a "hybrid attack," asserting that it indeed undermines the sovereignty of Finland and the European Union.

Orpo emphasized that closing the borders was a forced measure in response to Russia's continuous similar behavior.

He also expressed readiness for rapid legislative changes in connection with the developing border situation, if necessary.

Details of the Border Closure

Finland closed four of the eight border crossing points with Russia due to an increase in the number of asylum seekers, mainly from Africa and the Middle East.

These points are major transit locations between Russia and Finland, with a daily traffic of about 3,000 people.

The border closure occurred against the backdrop of escalating disagreements between Russia and Finland, especially after Finland joined NATO in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The Kremlin reacted to Finland's statements, expressing regret that Finnish authorities are "deliberately moving away from once good relations."

Finland is building a 200-kilometer barrier on a section of the border, expected to be completed by 2026.

Currently, Finland's borders are mostly protected by light wooden fences, primarily intended to prevent the crossing of livestock.

The Finnish Ombudsman for Non-Discrimination expressed concerns that the remote location of the Raja-Jooseppi crossing point could threaten the right to asylum.

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