Finland says traffic on border with Russia ‘intensified’

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VALIMA, Finland, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Traffic arriving at Finland’s eastern border with Russia “intensified” overnight after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial military mobilization, the Finnish border guard said. , and remained high but contained on Thursday.

At the Valima border crossing, about three hours’ drive from St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, around 1:15 p.m. local time (1015 GMT), three-lane cars stretched 300-400 meters (yards) each , border officials told Reuters.

The border crossing is one of nine on Finland’s 1,300-kilometer (800-mile) border with Russia, the EU’s longest border.

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Defense Minister Antti Keikkonen said on Wednesday that Finland was closely monitoring the situation in its neighbor after Putin ordered mobilization for war in Ukraine on Wednesday.

Putin made the announcement in an early morning televised address, sparking fears that some fighting-age men will not be allowed to leave Russia and prompting a quick sell-out of one-way flights out of the more

The Finnish land border crossing remains one of the few entry points for Russians into Europe after a series of Western countries closed their physical borders and their airspace to Russian aircraft in preparation for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Traffic on the Finnish-Russian border intensifies at night,” Marty Pitkaniti, the border guard’s head of international affairs, tweeted. Border guards are ready at nine checkpoints, he told Reuters.

While traffic from Russia was heavier than normal, border guards said in a statement that traffic in recent days had not changed “worryingly” compared to the pre-pandemic period.

The statement warned of “incorrect and misleading” information circulating on social media.

According to Reuters witnesses, around 1540 local time (1240 GMT), traffic slowed, with cars extending in three lanes of about 150 metres each.

After Moscow on February 2, Finland chose to keep its borders with Russia open. The 24th invaded Ukraine, although it reduced the number of consular appointments for Russian travelers seeking more

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, other EU countries bordering Russian territory, began denying Russian citizens transit at midnight on Monday, saying they should not travel while Russia is at war with more

The ministers of the three Baltic states said on Wednesday they would not offer asylum to any Russians fleeing Moscow’s mobilized more

Finland is working on its own national solution to limit the flow of tourists from Russia, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Havestow said on a visit to New York late Wednesday.

“Finland does not want to be a transit country for (EU) Schengen visas issued by other countries. This is the traffic we want to control,” Havestow told reporters.

Pitkaniti said 4,824 Russians arrived in Finland via the eastern border on Wednesday, up from 3,133 a week earlier.

There was no change in the number of Russians crossing the border in remote northern Norway, a police official told Reuters. Norway is not a member of the European Union.

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Reporting by Stine Jacobsen in Copenhagen, Essi Lehto in Helsinki, Milla Nissi in Gdansk, Gwladys Fouche in Oslo and Andrius Sytas in Vilnius; Writing by Stine Jacobsen and Gwladys Fouche with Terje Solsvik, Kim Coghill, Mark Heinrich and Catherine Evans edit

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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