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Finland to place barriers on Finnish-Russian border at midnight

Finland to place barriers on Finnish-Russian border at midnight
General view of the border fence, in Imatra, Finland, 26 October 2023. The Finnish Border Guard has started building a border fence on Finland's eastern border with Russia. EPA-EFE/KIMMO BRANDT

HELSINKI, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Finland will place barriers on the Finnish-Russian border crossings it plans to close at midnight local time (2200 GMT), the Finnish Border Guard said on Friday.

Finland’s government on Thursday decided to close four out of its nine border crossings with Russia in response to asylum seekers entering the Nordic nation through its eastern border.

“Our aim is to use barrier devices to prevent entry,” the Border Guard’s head of international affairs Matti Pitkaniitty told reporters, adding that Finland’s measures were a response to changes in Russia’s border policy.

Over 200 asylum seekers arriving in Finland this week led to Finnish leaders calling Russia out for funnelling people to the border, an accusation Russia has denied.

(Reporting by Essi Lehto and Anne Kauranen, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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