Finland, Norway, and Estonia are looking to tighten their borders with Russia due to an immigration crisis.
The countries have accused Russia of sending asylum seekers from Iraq, Yemen, and Somalia without proper documentation.
In response to the influx of migrants, Helsinki plans to close four out of its nine border crossings with Russia until February.
Migrants from Russia continue their attempts to break into Finland.
Finland’s authorities have closed four out of the eight border crossing points with Russia. They justified their decision by a large number of migrants from third countries that they blame Russia for: Russian… https://t.co/Bxtwld3K59 pic.twitter.com/wE5cGBYhYU
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) November 19, 2023
Pekka Kallioniemi, a researcher at Tampere University, told Newsweek that Putin may benefit from the NATO countries’ border restrictions.
“The Kremlin can benefit from this operation on many levels—they can use it in their internal propaganda, but also frame Finland as a country that mistreats asylum seekers,” he said, adding. “Now that the borders are closed, they can also claim that Finnish authorities are preventing Russians who live in Finland to visit their home country. It might also increase the popularity of pro-Kremlin, European political parties.”
The move comes as the European Union announced a plan to allow migrants to enter Europe more easily.
“The skills and labor shortages … are starting to become endemic,” said Commission Vice-President Margaritas Schinas.
Schinas explained that the European Union “would like to invite as many [migrants] as possible, provided that they match the vacancies of the system.”
She explained that Europe will need to add at least seven million new people to the workforce by 2030.
“In certain areas, we will be asking member states even to skip the labor market test … to facilitate the smooth arrival of the needed third-country laborers,” Schinas noted, adding that the plan is a “strong, if not strongest, disincentive to irregular migration.”