The European Parliament has added a discussion on the situation on the Finnish-Russian border to its agenda for Tuesday evening. The discussion will be held with representatives from the EU Commission and the Council of Member States, but it does not include voting on any resolutions. The main purpose of the discussion is to draw attention to the situation on Finland’s eastern border.
The speeches of the Parliament’s groups have been summarized for Finnish MEPs. The discussion is scheduled to begin at 10:00 PM in Finnish time. Eero Heinäluoman (SD), who presented the topic, believes that it is important because “the situation on Finland’s eastern border can get really bad.” He warns that people may be pushed across the border and lured with false promises. He urges other EU countries and the European Parliament to understand Finland’s conditions so that they are ready to support it if necessary.
Petri Sarvamaa, another MEP from Finland, also considers the evening’s discussion extremely important for the entire EU. He says that currently there are clear indications that Russia is trying to undermine Finland’s ability to operate in its own and the Union’s longest border area, which is absolutely unacceptable. Mauri Pekkarinen, a center MEP, says that raising this issue in the EU is important from a point of view of border security and he intends to pay attention to this in his speech.
Elsi Katainen, a center MP, says that she believes Finland must comply with human rights obligations in its own activities but also acknowledges that closing certain border points may send a message to Russia that Finland will not allow the situation to escalate beyond a certain level. She also notes that there have been concerns raised about humanitarian aid within her group but emphasizes that taking care of humanitarian aid should be done while complying with human rights obligations.
Silvia Modig, an MP from the Left Alliance, says that everyone has a right to apply for asylum but urges caution when provoked by others such as Russia now it’s good to keep a cool head. Ville Niinistö from Greens group acknowledges receiving no official threat assessments from government but assumes “serious development costs” behind their decisions based on public statements made by Border Guard officials who said profile of asylum seekers has changed and some may have been deliberately sent out by Russia