Finland closes 4 border crossings with Russia

File photo of a war victim. People from conflict areas form a significant number of asylum seekers in Europe.

HELSINKI, Nov 18 (Bernama-dpa) — Finland closed four border crossings with Russia in the early hours of Saturday, pointing to a surge in the number of migrants allowed through by the Russian authorities without proper documentation, reported German news agency (dpa).  

The Finnish border protection agency said the closures, which had been announced on Thursday, had now been implemented at Vaalimaa, Nuijamaa, Imatra and Niirala in the southeast. In the region, only the rail crossing at Vainikkala is to remain open.

Helsinki accuses the Russian authorities of assisting the migrants to cross with the aim of applying for asylum in a European Union country.

Asylum applications will now be handled at the Salla and Vartius border posts, hundreds of kilometres to the north.

The number of undocumented asylum seekers in the southeast of Finland rose significantly again on Friday to 163, twice the number in the whole of the previous week.