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Russia Lodges Protest to Finnish Ambassador Over Closure of Border Checkpoints

© Sputnik / Natalia SeliverstovaThe building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow.
The building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow. - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.11.2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Foreign Ministry has lodged protest to Finnish Ambassador Antti Helantera over Helsinki’s decision to close border checkpoints between the countries, the ministry said on Monday.
"On November 20, the Russian Foreign Ministry held a conversation with the ambassador of Finland to Russia, Antti Helantera. The Russian side protested against the closure of the most actively used checkpoints on the Russian-Finnish state border by the Finnish authorities," the ministry said in a statement, and called Helsinki’s decision "provocative."
The ministry added that the closure of checkpoints violates rights of tens of thousands of citizens of both countries.

"The decision was made in a hurry, without any consultations with the Russian side, which had previously been an integral part of cooperation in ensuring the effective functioning of the joint border," the ministry stressed.

In this picture taken January 20, 2016, border zone signs are seen at the Finnish-Russian border in Salla, northern Finland - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.11.2023
Over 8,800 People Sign Petition to Keep Checkpoints on Russian-Finnish Border Open
On Thursday, the Finnish cabinet said it had decided to close four out of eight checkpoints on the border with Russia from November 18 to February 18, 2024 due to the deteriorating situation with migrants. Helsinki has accused Moscow of directing asylum seekers, mainly from the Middle East, to its border, with the number of asylum requests soaring to 60 a day, compared to a total of 91 arriving from August 1 to November 12. The Russian embassy in Finland told Sputnik that the Finnish government's measures were a cause for concern, and Russia would work on retaliatory measures.
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