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The Government: Finland's eastern border to remain closed until further notice

Publication date 4.4.2024 14.03
Press release

The Government has decided that the border crossing points on the land border between Finland and Russia will remain closed as of 15 April 2024. In addition, the border crossing points for maritime traffic at Haapasaari, the port of Nuijamaa and Santio will be closed to leisure boating as of 15 April. The Government decided on the matter in its session on 4 April 2024. The decision will remain in force until further notice, but no longer than is necessary.

By closing border crossing points for maritime traffic to leisure boating, the Government is preparing for the possibility that instrumentalised migration could expand to maritime traffic as spring progresses. This would be dangerous to people seeking to enter Finland and would burden maritime search and rescue. 

As of 15 April 2024, it will only be possible to submit applications for international protection at other border crossing points for maritime traffic and at border crossing points for air traffic. 

Risk that instrumentalised migration will resume remains likely 

Based on information provided by public authorities, the risk that instrumentalised migration will resume and expand as seen previously remains likely. If the phenomenon were to continue, it would pose a serious threat to Finland’s national security and public order.

“Finnish authorities see this as a long-term situation. We have not seen anything this spring that would lead us to conclude that the situation has changed meaningfully. In addition, spring will provide opportunities to put more pressure on Finland. There are hundreds and possibly thousands of people close to Finland's border on the Russian side that could be instrumentalised against Finland,” said Minister of the Interior Mari Rantanen.  

Instrumentalised migration is one way that Russia can put pressure on and affect the security and social stability of Finland and the EU. The Ministry of the Interior together with other ministries has been looking into alternative ways to put an end to this phenomenon. 

An act on measures to combat instrumentalised migration is being drafted. The act would lay down provisions on the conditions under which the Government could decide to restrict the reception of applications for international protection in a limited area on Finland's national border and in its immediate vicinity. The consultation round for the act has ended, and a legislative proposal will be submitted to Parliament as soon as possible.


Restrictions at the border crossing points on the eastern border of Finland | The Finnish Border Guard (