HELSINKI (AP) — The European Union's border agency said Thursday that it will send dozens of officers and equipment as reinforcements to Finland to help police its borders amid suspicion that Russia is behind an influx of migrants arriving to the country.
Frontex said that it expects a “significant reinforcement” made up of 50 border guard officers and other staff, along with patrol cars and additional equipment, to be put in place as soon as next week.
More than 800 migrants without proper visas and documentation have arrived in Finland so far since August, with more than 700 in November alone by the end of Wednesday — compared to a few dozen in September and October. They include people from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Kenya, Morocco and Somalia.
Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, who addressed lawmakers at Parliament on Thursday, called the situation “a serious disruption of border security” that affects the national security of Finland, whose population is 5.6 million.
“Finland cannot be influenced, Finland cannot be destabilized,” Orpo said with a decisive tone. “Russia started this, and Russia also can stop it.”
The Kremlin denies the allegations.
On Wednesday, Finnish border guards and soldiers began erecting barriers, including concrete obstacles topped with barbed-wire at some crossing points on the Nordic country's lengthy border with Russia.
The government decided to close four…