NATO state sends military to Russian border

Finland has deployed soldiers to help reinforce the Vartius crossing on its 1,340-kilometre border with Russia.

Varius is one of the four crossings that remained open after Helsinki’s decision to close the southern entry points amid accusations against Russia “the transfer” Migrants and asylum seekers from third countries to the Finnish border.

“At the Vartius border station in Kuhmo, temporary barriers are being built in the border area. The Defense Forces are supporting the border guards in construction tasks.” The border guard said on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, adding that the soldiers were not involved in monitoring the border itself.

Border station director Jukki Kinnunen told Yle Radio that the army was setting up temporary security barriers at the checkpoint.

On Saturday, Finland closed entry points in southeastern Valima, Noigama, Imatra and Nirala, citing the need to prevent the influx of asylum seekers. Authorities reported an increase in illegal crossings, including those carried out by migrants from Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

Finnish Defense Minister Antti Hakkanen described the closures as… “A crystal clear message to Russia” Who claimed he used immigrants to “Accelerating the migrant crisis in Europe and destabilizing its unity.” Meanwhile, Interior Minister Marie Rantanen said Moscow might as well “I’m disturbed by something in Finland’s activities.”

The move to close the border has been opposed by some Finnish residents, including Russians living in Finland and people with dual citizenship. Several hundred people staged a protest in Helsinki on Sunday to denounce the new decision “iron curtain,” According to Euronews.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova rejected allegations of using migration as a weapon “Totally unfounded.”

“Russia has never threatened Finland in its modern history. We had no reason for confrontation.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said this week that closing the border crossings would be… “big mistake” From Helsinki side.

Like all other EU member states, Finland has imposed sanctions on Russia over its ongoing conflict with Ukraine. Finland also abandoned its traditional non-aligned status and joined NATO in April 2023. Meanwhile, Russia has repeatedly described the US-led military bloc’s continued expansion eastward as one of the root causes of current tensions with NATO.

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