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28 Nov, 2023 10:12

Raising ‘Iron Curtain’ will cost EU country billions – Russia’s top MP

Finland has shut all border crossings apart from the northernmost link
Raising ‘Iron Curtain’ will cost EU country billions – Russia’s top MP

Completely closing the Finland-Russia land border would cost Helsinki up to $3.3 billion, according to Russian State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin.

Helsinki has closed all but one of its several border corssings with Russia in the last week, citing increased flows of asylum seekers.

The Finnish authorities were “punishing” their own citizens and hindering the development of the country by “lowering the Iron Curtain in the east,” Volodin warned.

“Finnish authorities have closed all checkpoints on the border with Russia, except for the northernmost one,” Volodin said on his Telegram channel on Tuesday. “This decision will cost the Finns, according to some estimates, about €3 billion ($3.3 billion).”

He also warned that Finland “faces a number of problems,” including increased military spending due to joining NATO and sanctions on Russia, the consequences of which the EU still cannot manage.

Last week, the Finnish government shut seven of the eight operating border crossings with Russia, citing an alleged surge in undocumented asylum seekers from third countries.

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo has said the last remaining Raja-Jooseppi checkpoint will be closed as well in case of further influxes of refugees.

The border closures have been justified by accusing Russia of letting through asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East, who lack passports or proper visas. Finnish Defense Minister Antti Hakkanen claimed that the Kremlin was using refugees to “accelerate the migrant crisis in Europe and destabilize its unity.”

Moscow has refused to comment on the allegations. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov previously said it was soon to speak about the ‘Iron Curtain’ despite the steps taken by Helsinki.

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