Saturday 9/18/21

Sanna Marin: "We have the possibility to close border crossings"

According to her, Turkey's actions at the Greek border are unacceptable.
The Prime Minister Sanna Marin. Photo: Kosti Keistinen/Finnish Government.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin commenting on the situation at the Greece-Turkish border, said: “If such pressure and hybrid influence were applied to Finland, Finland would have to react… The law provides the possibility to temporarily close borders and restrict entry.”

Prime Minister Marin was interviewed by reporters during the Prime Minister's interview with Yle Radio Finland on Sunday. According to her, Turkey's actions at the Greek border are unacceptable. Marin also emphasized that Finland, like Greece, is a border state of the EU.

"If it was a case of bringing people to the Finnish border intentionally and trying to exert pressure and influence on the state, it would be a very different situation, and certainly, we would have to react in that situation. We still have the possibility to temporarily restrict or close our border crossing points" the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Marin also emphasized that people have the right to seek asylum under international treaties.

Effect on asylum applications

According to Yle, the Head of the Border and Maritime Department Matti Sarasmaa said that “in practice, the closure of the border could, in the first stage, mean a gradual restriction of traffic at border crossing points. Ultimately, for example, all eastern border crossing points could be closed."

"However, closing the border does not prevent the application for asylum if the applicant has crossed the border into Finland. If the border crossing points are closed, Finland will continue to be obliged to receive persons crossing the border who apply for asylum and have them handled properly,” he added.

Greece took a decision and not to accept any further asylum applications for the following month.

Even if Finland closed its borders, all Finnish citizens wishing to return to Finland would be welcome.