Finnish Parliament debates bill to limit asylum requests at Russian border

Finland's border with Russia
Finland's border with Russia

The Finnish parliament is currently reviewing a bill that would empower border guards to deny entry to refugees arriving through the eastern border with Russia, Interior Minister Mari Rantanen confirmed in a May 25 interview with Yle.

Under the proposed legislation, migrants would be prohibited from applying for asylum directly at the border, a shift from the current policy that processes all migrants' asylum claims upon their arrival. Exceptions could be made for children, individuals with special needs, or those at risk of facing the death penalty or torture if returned to Russia.

Read also: Baltic states, Poland, Finland, and Norway to create ‘unmanned wall’ for border security – LRT

"Each case will be assessed individually by the Finnish Border Guard," Rantanen added, expressing confidence that the bill would garner lawmaker support.

Read also: Finland’s Supreme Court upholds Russian border closure

This legislative move follows a series of closures of Finnish-Russian border checkpoints. Initially, four eastern crossings were shut down on November 6, 2023. Several more followed on November 22, leaving just one operational crossing, which was eventually closed on November 30. These closures were in response to a surge in undocumented third-country nationals seeking asylum, allegedly facilitated by Russian border guards.

Finland's government, citing these concerns, announced plans on March 15 to enact temporary legislation restricting the entry of asylum seekers from Russia.

Read also: Finland may ban asylum seekers entry from Russia

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine