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On 5 December, at the Council of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers of the European Union (EU) in Brussels, Minister of the Interior Rihards Kozlovskis stressed that recent developments on the EU’s eastern border, including the influx of migrants on the Finland – Russia border facilitated by Russia, point to the urgency of finding common and sustainable solutions for preventing and combating the influx of migrants across the EU.

“It is clear that the exploitation of migratory flows on the EU’s eastern border by Belarus and Russia will continue for the foreseeable future. These people are being used as a weapon to destabilize our region and increase economic pressure on the EU as a whole. Latvia, together with other countries in the region, including Finland, continues to protect its common external border with the EU. We are in constant contact to monitor and carefully analyze the situation in the region as a whole,” indicated Kozlovskis.

European Commission’s (EC) Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, pointed out to the ministers of the member states that although the overall number of migrants on the EU’s eastern border is lower than on the EU’s southern border, the situation is very serious and represents a threat to the EU as a whole.

The Council also discussed the situation in the Schengen area, based on the Schengen barometer prepared by the EC. The EC points out that the increased pressure on the EU’s external borders persists and that solutions must now be found on the issue staffing, as staff shortages are observed at the EU’s external borders.

Finland, which shares a 1 340-kilometre border with Russia, reported a sharp increase in the number of migrants at the Russian border in November. Since the beginning of August, almost 1 000 migrants have entered Finland without visas through the eastern border crossing points. The Finnish government has decided to temporarily close all border crossing points on the border with Russia. The decision to close the last point concerns the Raja–Jooseppi border crossing point in northern Finland, which will be closed until 13 December.



Beate Barkāne-Iļjenkova
Head of the Minister’s Office
+371 67829044, +371 26073167