Finnish Govt Warns Country Could Close Border Over Potential Migrant Surge

Policemen talk with road users at a check point in Mäntsälä, at the northern border of the Uusimaa (Nyland) region in Finland on March 28, 2020. - The Finnish Government decided to restrict traffic between the Uusimaa and other regions to prevent coronavirus infections and to slow the spread of …
HEIKKI SAUKKOMAA/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images

Finland’s Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo said that if it faces the same kind of migrant pressure as Poland and the Baltic States, the country could close its border.

Minister Ohisalo stated that Finland would close its border if subjected to the same sort of “hybrid warfare” many have accused Belarus of engaging in by sending migrants across its border with European Union member-states.

Finland has been used as an entry point to the European Union by migrants via its border with Russia, although historically it has been less popular than Greece, Italy, Spain, and now Poland.

“It is quite clear that this is a hybrid impact. Belarus is trying to divide EU countries while at the same time making them violate international conventions,” Ohisalo told the Finnish broadcaster YLE this week, in reference to the migrant crisis on the EU’s frontier with Belarus.

Ohisalo said that those seeking asylum in Finland would be treated individually and said women, children, and other vulnerable people should be protected, but warned that a large number of Middle Eastern migrants entering the EU from Belarus are being used as a weapon by the regime of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Mikko Lehmus, the head of the Situation and Risk Analysis Centre of the Border Guard, is not as confident the Finnish border can be fully closed and fortified against a surge of illegals.

Many countries, such as Poland and Greece, have begun or have already completed border barriers in an effort to halt the flow of illegal immigrants coming into their countries, but Lehmus said building such a barrier in Finland is not feasible.

“[A]ttention is focused on Finland’s long eastern border. It must be clear to everyone that it cannot be comprehensively fenced or covered by other obstacle devices,” Lehmus said.

Lehmus added that if there were a surge of illegal arrivals on the border, the Border Guard would require extra manpower from the police, suggesting that military reservists would not be needed.

In Poland, the government has stationed thousands of troops — including reservists — at the border to help stop illegal crossings from Belarus, having declared a state of emergency in the region in September.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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