EU Border Agency to Deploy 50 Guards at Finnish Frontier

The European Union’s border protection agency Frontex said Thursday it will deploy 50 officers to Finland which has seen a surge in migrants at its eastern border with Russia.

In addition to border guard officers and other staff, Frontex said it would send equipment such as patrol cars “to bolster Finland’s border control activities.”

The reinforcement is expected to be on the ground “as soon as next week,” it said in a statement.

Finland on Wednesday said it would shut all but its northernmost border crossing with Russia after it recorded an influx of undocumented migrants.

Helsinki said Moscow was to blame, with the Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo accusing the Russian authorities of “a systematic and organised action” of facilitating entry of the migrants.

Stopping short of naming Russia, Frontex head Hans Leijtens said in a statement the agency was bolstering support to Finland as it was facing “hybrid challenges.”

“This collaboration shows that when facing complex border issues, Europe stands united, offering support through tangible actions,” Leijtens added.

Frontex currently has 10 officers working at the borders of Finland which shares a 1,300-kilometre (800-mile) frontier with Russia.

Finland’s relationship with its eastern neighbor soured following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — prompting Finland to accede to the US-led NATO alliance in April.

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