Norway considers joining Finland in closing border with Russia as Putin accused of destabilising EU

Norway considers joining Finland in closing border with Russia as Putin accused of destabilising EU

The Storskog border crossing station at the Norwegian-Russian border near Elvenes, Norwa

George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 27/11/2023

- 09:08

Updated: 27/11/2023

- 14:49

The Raja-Jooseppi crossing in the far-northern arctic region in Finland has remained open

Norway has announced it could join Finland and close its only open border with Russia.

During a speech, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store revealed this potential move, which would mark a notable shift in Norway's border policy.

Finland has closed all but one border with Russia, with "dozens" of EU officers sent to provide support to the region amid a major influx of migrants.

It comes as Moscow was accused of attempting to destabilise the area by funnelling migrants across the frontier.

WATCH HERE: EU overwhelmed by migrants landing in Lampedusa

Prime Minister Store was responding to queries about whether Norway should follow Finland's lead in tightening border controls with Russia.

He noted that the Norwegian government is keeping a close eye on the evolving situations in Finland and Estonia, two countries that have recently adjusted their border policies in response to the ongoing geopolitical tensions.

Storskog" ("Borisoglebsky"), lies on the border between the Norwegian province of Troms and Finnmark and the Murmansk region of Russia.

This checkpoint serves as the primary, and currently only, border crossing point between Russia and Norway.


\u200bThe border crossing between Norway and Russia

The border crossing between Norway and Russia near the Norwegian town of Kirkenes in the far north of the country


Finnish officials have accused Russia of funnelling migrants to the border in retaliation for its decision to increase defence cooperation with the United States.

The Kremlin has denied these charges.

Finland has responded by closing all but one of its eight border crossings with Russia.

Only the Raja-Jooseppi crossing in the far-northern Arctic region has remained open, though Helsinki has signalled it may also be shut over the crisis.

Finland border crossing

The Raja-Jooseppi crossing in Finland


Russian authorities have indicated they will ferry more migrants to the border. The governor of Russia’s northwestern Murmansk region Governor Andrei Chibis said officials were planning to transport 55 migrants from the shuttered Salla border crossing to the Raja-Jooseppi crossing.

Baltic nations Estonia and Latvia, like Finland, have accused Moscow of sending migrants to their borders with Russia in what all three countries have described as "hybrid attack" operations.

According to Governor Chibis, another 200 foreign nationals who were unable to cross the border have decided to stay in Russia and will be provided with a bus connection to St Petersburg.

Helsinki infuriated the Kremlin earlier this year when it joined Nato, ending decades of non-alignment in response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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