INTERNATIONAL

‘There is a situation at the border with Finland’, Russia says. Then, explains

A humanitarian emergency is unfolding at one of Russia’s checkpoints on the Artic border with Finland as hundreds of migrants were stranded in freezing temperatures, Moscow said. Reports claimed that over 500 asylum seekers have crossed from Russia to Finland since November, mostly from Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Iraq. But Finland has accused Russia of pushing them there deliberately. Moscow has denied these claims.

Migrants stand in a line in front of Finnish Border Guards at the international border crossing at Salla, northern Finland.(AFP)

“There is a situation at the border with Finland, at the Salla checkpoint, which can be described as a humanitarian crisis,” the head of Russia’s Murmansk region bordering Finland, Andrey Chibis, said as per news agency AFP, adding, “About 300 people from more than 10 foreign countries have been waiting not for hours, but for days to cross the border.”

Finland is not letting them in, he said, sharing a video on social media showing cars and vans on the side of a at night and a group of people in a tent.

The Salla checkpoint is still open but Finland shut down four of its border crossings with Russia last week. Earlier, Finland had accused Moscow of trying to destabilise the country in retaliation for it joining NATO.

In April, Finland joined the Western-led NATO military alliance, prompting Moscow to warn of “countermeasures”.

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