HELSINKI — NATO member Finland on Wednesday closed its last remaining border crossing with Russia after the government decided to seal the entire border with its eastern neighbor amid rising political tensions.
The Cabinet of Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo decided to temporarily close the entire 1,340-kilometer (830-mile) border between the two countries a day earlier over concerns that Moscow was using migrants to destabilize the Nordic country in an alleged act of “hybrid warfare.”
The Raja-Jooseppi crossing point in Finland's Arctic Lapland region, located some 250 kilometers (155 miles) from the northern Russian city of Murmansk, closed at 2 p.m. Wednesday, according to the checkpoint's normal November schedule.
Ville Ahtiainen, a deputy commander with the Finnish Border Guard in Lapland, told reporters that the remote border crossing, located in the middle of rugged wilderness, was quiet during the four hours it remained open Wednesday, with a handful of vehicles passing through on their way to and from Russia. The border cannot be crossed by foot.
No migrants attempted to enter Finland in Raja-Jooseppi on Wednesday, he said.
Finnish authorities say some 1,000 migrants without visas or valid documentation have arrived at the border since August, with more than 900 in November alone. Finland makes up a significant part of NATO's northeastern flank and acts as the European Union's external border in…