Traffic on Finland’s eastern border with Russia “spiked” overnight and increased during the day on Thursday, Finland’s border guard said, although the situation was under control.

Finland, whose 1,300-kilometer border with Russia is the longest in the European Union, is closely monitoring the situation in its neighbor after President Vladimir Putin ordered military mobilization for the war in Ukraine. , Defense Minister Antti Kikonen said on Wednesday.

Finnish land border crossings remain among the few points of entry for Russians into Europe after a series of Western countries closed both their physical borders and their airspace to Russian aircraft in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Is.

“Traffic on the border between Finland and Russia intensified during the night,” Matti Pitkanetti, head of international affairs for the border guards, said in a tweet. He told Reuters that border guards are ready at nine checkpoints.

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Traffic from Russia was busier than usual at the Valima border crossing – one of nine with Russia – with three lanes of cars stretching 300-400 metres, a border official there told Reuters.

A Border Guard spokesman said traffic conditions remained high at noon (0900 GMT), although a separate Border Guard statement said the situation had changed “alarmingly” in recent days compared to pre-pandemic times. Hasn’t happened.

The statement warned that “false and misleading” information was circulating on social media.

Putin’s announcement in an early morning televised address on Wednesday sparked fears that some men of fighting age would not be allowed to leave Russia and prompted a sell-out of one-way flights out of the country.


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After Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Finland chose to keep its border with Russia open, although it has reduced the number of consular appointments available to Russian travelers seeking visas.

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Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, other EU countries bordering Russian territory, began turning Russian citizens away from crossings at midnight on Monday, saying they would not be allowed to cross the border while their country was at war with Ukraine. If so, they should not travel.

The three Baltic countries will not grant asylum to any Russians fleeing Moscow’s troop mobilization, their ministers said on Wednesday.

Finland is working on its own national solution to limit tourist traffic from Russia, Foreign Minister Pika Hausto said late Wednesday during a visit to New York.

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“Finland does not want to be a transit country for (EU) Schengen visas issued by other countries. This is the traffic we want to bring under control,” Hausto told reporters.

Pitkanetti said 4,824 Russians arrived in Finland via the eastern border on Wednesday, up from 3,133 a week earlier.

A police official told Reuters that the number of Russians entering the Nordic country in far-northern Norway had not changed. Norway is not a member of the European Union.

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