On Monday, 20 November, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Finnish Ambassador Antti Helanterä to protest against the Finnish authorities’ decision to close four of the eight border checkpoints.
Details: The Russian Foreign Ministry claims that the closure of checkpoints due to the growth of illegal migration "is unequivocally provocative and clearly in line with attempts to further strain our relations".
Russia was also outraged that Finland had made such a decision "hastily, without any consultation with the Russian side" and declared that the rights of "tens of thousands" of Russians were being infringed.
Last Thursday, Finland decided to close the Vaalimaa, Nuijamaa, Imatra and Niirala border crossings due to a surge in illegal migration. They have been closed to traffic since Saturday.
Finnish border guards previously reported that in recent months, an exceptionally large number of people without entry documents had tried to enter Finland through checkpoints on the southeastern border.
According to media reports, Finnish authorities may close the remaining checkpoints still operating on the land border with Russia on the night of 21-22 November 2023 because of Russia's weaponisation of illegal migrants.