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Finland delays opening Russian border until mid-February

Raja-Jooseppi border crossing.
Raja-Jooseppi border crossing. Source: Yle

Finland will keep its eastern border with Russia closed until mid-February, delaying the opening by around a month, Interior Minister Mari Rantanen said on Thursday afternoon.

Finland's government decided to extend the closure of all eight checkpoints along the country's eastern border with Russia until at least February 11, Yle reported.

Rantanen justified the decision on the basis that the situation at the eastern border has not changed since Finland closed the frontier in December.

"National security is a critical issue for Finland," Rantanen said.

She added that her ministry is currently investigating various alternative means of permanently resolving the situation on the Finnish-Russian border.

In a press release, the ministry noted that migrants have been seen on the Russian side of the border, apparently waiting for the crossing point to open.

The checkpoints were expected to remain shut until at least January 14.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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