Support The Moscow Times!

Over 150 Migrants Detained in Karelia This Week

Migrants with bicycles at the international border crossing at Salla, Finnish Lapland. Jussi Nukari / IMAGO / ТАСС

In the past week, at least 150 migrants with expired Russian visas have been detained in the republic of Karelia while heading to the Finnish border, according to the RBC news website.

The governor of Karelia’s press secretary, Marina Kabatyuk, told RBC most of the migrants had been detained after Nov. 18. 

The migrants are now in detention centers. “Their fate will be decided by the court. They face a fine and forced expulsion from Russia,” Kabatyuk told RBC.

The Finnish government closed the country’s four southernmost border crossings with Russia at midnight on Nov. 18 in response to a sudden influx of asylum seekers from the Middle East and North Africa.

Helsinki accused Moscow of deliberately allowing migrants to enter Finland without the correct travel documents, suggesting it was a tactic to destabilize the country.

"We deeply regret that the Finnish leadership has chosen to deliberately move away from what used to be good relations," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked about Finland's comments.

Karelia's Governor Artur Parfenchikov posted on Telegram that the regional emergencies ministry had set up a heating point for migrants at one of the closed checkpoints on the night of the 19th, but it had since been disbanded and the groups of refugees had left the border area.

“It is very difficult to sensibly explain the position of our Western neighbors, who create such situations by violating their own migration policies,” he added.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more