23 Nov 2023 16:36

Murmansk region opens additional checkpoints amid migrant influx at Finnish border

MURMANSK. Nov 23 (Interfax) - Additional checkpoints have opened on the administrative border of the Murmansk region and within its territory amid an influx of foreigners seeking to cross the Russian-Finnish border, governor of the Murmansk region Andrei Chibis said.

"As decided by the operational headquarters, we have opened additional checkpoints at the entrance to and within the Murmansk region, where border guards and law enforcement officers assess the legitimacy of the presence of the citizens who come to our territory, in a substantive, attentive and detailed manner, and make relevant decisions," Chibis said on the Rossiya 24 television channel (VGTRK).

He noted that the Murmansk region has declared a high alert.

Over 400 people are waiting to cross the Russian-Finnish border in the Murmansk region, Chibis said. Most of them have amassed in the Kandalaksha district, where the Salla checkpoint is situated.

"We can see a decline in the number of people seeking to get through, including those who do not have the appropriate documents or a legitimate right to be here, or who have expired documents," Chibis said, adding that many cars turn around when they see additional checkpoints.

Chibis reported an attempted illegal crossing of the border. "An attempt to illegally cross the border was made yesterday. The problem was mitigated and solved, and the situation is controllable," he said.

Authorities in the Murmansk region were monitoring the situation at the Russian-Norwegian border and official Norwegian reports on the possible closure of a border checkpoint, he said.

"There is no confirmation of this [border closure]. Indeed, we are following statements by a certain official. No legal decisions to this effect have been made," Chibis said.

At the Russian-Norwegian border, "our law enforcement agencies and border guards are working to closely monitor those trying to cross," he said.

The only checkpoint at the Russian-Norwegian border, Borisoglebsk (Storskog), is situated in the Pechenga district of the Murmansk region.

The Murmansk region has declared a high alert, as Finland plans to close all checkpoints at the border with Russia apart from Raja Jooseppi (Lotta).

As reported, Finland will close all checkpoints but one on its border with Russia on Saturday because of the rising influx of illegal immigrants.