Russia has lodged a protest with Finland over its decision to close several border checkpoints along their shared border.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the move "provocative" and said it would further strain relations between the two countries.
The Finnish government closed the checkpoints in response to a surge in undocumented asylum seekers entering from Russia. This has left many people separated from their families, and there have been calls for at least one checkpoint in southeastern Finland to be reopened.
The Finnish government is now considering closing all of its checkpoints along the Russian border. This decision is a direct response to what Finland perceives as Russia's manipulation of the migrant crisis to exert pressure. Several checkpoints have already closed, and asylum applications are now only processed at specific locations.
Russia has denied that it is deliberately ferrying migrants to Finland, and it has accused Finland of being "Russophobic." The Kremlin has also threatened to terminate an intergovernmental agreement on cross-border cooperation.
The closure of the border checkpoints is the latest in a series of tensions between Finland and Russia. Finland has been moving closer to the West in recent years, and it is considering joining NATO. Russia has warned Finland against joining the alliance, and it has threatened to take military action if Finland does so.
The border tensions between Finland and Russia are part of a broader trend of rising tensions in Europe. The war in Ukraine has led to a deterioration in relations between Russia and the West, and it has raised fears of a new Cold War.
The closure of the border checkpoints is a sign of the growing divide between Finland and Russia. It is also a reminder of the fragility of peace in Europe. (ILKHA)
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