Sunday, December 3, 2023

Migrant tensions on the border between Russia and Finland

LE MONDE Migrant tensions on the border between Russia and Finland By Anne-Françoise Hivert(Malmö (Sweden) correspondent) Published today at 4:20 am (Paris), updated at 7:25 am In just one month, 913 asylum seekers entered the country via Russia. Helsinki has denounced Moscow's instrumentalization of migrants and closed all of its border crossings. Saleh Almeri, aged 26, gathered his strength and rode his bike all the way to Finland. It was November 17, a few minutes before midnight and Helsinki had just announced the closure of four of its border crossings in the southeast of the country. Having come to try his luck by cab, the young man was stopped by Russian soldiers, then sent to a police station, where officers put him in a car with a bicycle. "A Russian police officer sold it to me for €250 to get to the border. He took my passport and my phone," he revealed. The car dropped him off a few hundred meters before the demarcation line. He cycled the rest of the way, as crossing the border on foot was forbidden. "I was the last to enter," said Saleh with a shy smile. A moment later, he was seeking asylum in Finland.