As this publication reported yesterday, the Finnish government is set to completely close, or restrict to one crossing, all border crossings from the Russian Federation. This is due to an influx of Iraqi and Somali immigrants attempting to cross the border with little to no confrontation with Russian Border Services.
Today, Estonian media has reported that in the last week, it has had a similar influx of Somali migrants via the Narva Border Crossing. From November 10th to 13th, 27 foreign national attempted to cross into Estonia, without any Schengen Zone authorization or interdiction from the Russian Federation.
The head of the border guard department of the Police and Border Guard Board, Veiko Kommusaar told EER:
“The most common reasons for refusal to cross the border were that foreigners did not have the appropriate documents for entry, they were unclear about the purpose of the trip, or during the interview it was determined that the person may pose a threat to public order or the security of our country.” He also said that an influx of Moldovan migrants attempted to cross into Estonia.
Interior Minister Läänemets made this comment: “Estonia has obviously been extremely vigilant. Eight Somali citizens tried to enter Estonia from Narva this morning between eight and ten-thirty. Due to the lack of a Schengen visa or residence permit, they were issued an entry ban at the border and were sent back to the side of the Russian Federation.”
When a migrant approaches the Estonian border, due to Schengen agreements, without a visa and claims asylum, the country’s border service must process their asylum claim which can overwhelm a small border service if the influx is large enough. For this reason, the Estonian government is now mulling closing its border with the Russian Federation. Commander of the Estonian PPA made this comment after 17 Somali and 7 Syrian migrants tried to enter into Estonia today:
“They all used the same tactic, i.e. they have been released from Russia, although they do not have the right to enter the European Union.”
The Russian Federation seems to be exerting pressure on its Northern East neighbors by allowing and possibly coordinating these border influxes, just like Belarus did to Poland in 2022. There has not been such a reported influx on the Norwegian border as of this publication.