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Southeast Finland Border Guard sees slight uptick in asylum applications

On Sunday nine people applied for asylum at the southeastern border.

The Finnish Border Guard on Monday said a total of 17,000 Russian citizens crossed into Finland over the weekend. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

The number of asylum applications at border crossing points in Southeast Finland has increased slightly in recent days, according to the Border Guard.

There were 20 such applications last week, compared to just three the week before.

So far this year, 166 people applied for asylum at the country's southeast border crossing points, with Russians accounting for 48 percent of those applications.

Jukka Lukkari, Deputy Commander of the Southeast Finland Border Guard, said that only a small proportion of asylum seekers submit their application at the border. In most cases, they only do so once they have arrived in the country.

"Many apply for asylum somewhere else, either elsewhere in Europe or in Finland," Lukkari said.

Of the some 9,000 people who crossed the southeast border into Finland on Sunday, nine requested asylum.

The Finnish Border Guard on Monday said a total of 17,000 Russian citizens crossed into Finland over the weekend, with 15,000 arriving via southeastern border points.

Officials said they expect the flow of Russians, particularly of young men, to continue in the coming days.

"The curve is rising owing to the new situation in Russia," said Mikko Hämäläinen of the Southeast Finland border guard, adding that many of those crossing over are men.

Russians arriving at the border have, according to Hämäläinen, reported that there is a five-kilometre queue on the Russian side.

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