Over a week, more than 150 foreigners with expired Russian visas who were heading towards the Russian-Finnish border were detained in Karelia. This is reported by RBC with reference to the press secretary of the head of the region Maryna Kabatiuk.
“Now they are in places of compulsory residence of citizens of internal affairs bodies of Karelia. Their further fate will be decided by the court. They face fines and forced deportation from Russia,” Kabatiuk said.
She added that most migrants were detained after November 18. On this day, Finland closed four border crossings with Russia in the south-east of the country due to a sharp influx of asylum seekers from countries such as Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Somalia. Border crossing points are closed to both people and any form of transport. Restrictions will be in effect until February 18.
Over the past few months, several thousand foreigners who do not have the necessary documents have tried to enter Finland from Russia. In the past, Moscow did not allow such foreigners to cross the border from its side. In Finland, they believe that the Russian authorities are acting deliberately and connect what is happening, in particular, with the conclusion of an agreement on cooperation in the field of defense between Helsinki and Washington.
After four border crossings were closed, foreigners began to flock to the open “Vartius-Lyuttia” checkpoint, which is located near the Karelian city of Kostomuksha. According to local residents, there were at least 50 people.
According to the head of the “Vartius” border crossing, Jouko Kinnunen, his Russian colleagues directly push foreigners to go to the Finnish checkpoint and ask for asylum. The Russian side denies assisting migrants in their attempts to cross the border.