Illegal entry on the eastern border of Finland has increased significantly. The illegal entry is organized and international crime is also linked to the phenomenon. The phenomenon and the risk of its expansion cause a serious threat to public order and national security. Therefore, Finland closes the entire eastern border as of 30 November 2023.

The decision is based on the Border Guard Act, according to which the Government may decide to close a border crossing point for a fixed period or until further notice if it is necessary to close it to prevent a serious threat to public order, national security or public health. The Government may also, where necessary, decide to concentrate the seeking of international protection to one or several border crossing points. (Section 16 of the Border Guard Act).

The decision is in effect to 13 December 2023.

Closing of border crossing points

On the land border between Finland and Russia, the border crossing points in Imatra, Kuusamo, Niirala, Nuijamaa, Raja-Jooseppi, Salla, Vaalimaa and Vartius are closed as of 30 November.

Applying for international protection

Applying for international protection is concentrated to open border crossing points for air and water traffic.

Effects on persons crossing the border and commercial traffic 

It is not possible to cross the land border between Finland and Russia during the term of the decision.

The decision also applies to commercial traffic crossing the land border. Railway traffic in Vainikkala is an exception.

Finnish nationals must also use the open border crossing points for air and water traffic. 

International protection cannot be applied for at the border crossing points on the land border between Finland and Russia.

This decision does not affect leaving Finland.  Everyone has the right to leave the country via open border crossing points.

Further information on border crossing points: Contact information | The Finnish Border Guard