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President Niinistö: We must prepare for migration across eastern border

President Sauli Niinistö told the media on Friday afternoon that Finland must be able to prepare for the prospect of large numbers of migrants on its eastern border.

Sauli Niinistö puhuu tiedotustilaisuudessaan.
Sauli Niinistö piti tiedotustilaisuuden Helsingissä perjantaina. Image: Yle

President Niinistö focused his remarks the migrant situation in Europe and the latest policy moves by Norway to reduce the growing number of refugees arriving via an Arctic route across northern Russia.

"Questions are already being put forth about the same possibly happening on Finland's eastern border. This then involves a rather large mass of people. It is possible that this would be major migration and in such a situation we must be able to be prepared," said Niinistö.

Finland has a 1340-kilometre border with Russia, the EU's longest.

The president met with the press following a meeting with the government's Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy that also reviewed the situation in Afghanistan, where Finland has deployed peacekeepers to the ISAF operation.

"We noted the difficult situation and established that operations can be continued, perhaps in a reduced form from [the level of] Finland's presence at the moment," stated President Niinistö.

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