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People-Smugglers Now Advertising Russia-Finland Border Route to EU to Illegals

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service (SUPO) has confirmed reports that people-smugglers are now advertising crossings from Russia to Finland to migrants, as many abandon attempts to enter the European Union from Belarus in the face of strong border enforcement by Poland and the Baltic States.


Since the middle of last month people-smugglers have begun advertising the Russia-Finland route into the European Union, according to an intelligence research group who looked at Kurdish and Arabic forums on social media platforms like Facebook that are geared toward migrants looking to enter Western Europe.


“Right now it is very difficult to say whether this will result in a new route for the migrant flows and whether we will see people arriving at the Finnish border, for example. But on social media, the reactions have been very positive,” said Monika Richter, the head of research for the group, in comments reported by newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet.


Finland’s intelligence service SUPO has confirmed the increase in marketing online for the Russia-Finland route, with communications director Milla Meretniemi telling Hufvudstadsbladet: “We are aware that this kind of marketing has occurred. As one of the EU’s external border countries, Finland is following the development stage very closely. But we cannot comment on our operational tasks any more than that.”



Meretniemi went on to note that the migrant crisis along the border with Belarus was largely directed by the Belarusian government, but said that “Right now we have no reason to assume that Russia would act in the same way at the Finnish border”.


The tactic of using migrants to try and destabilise rival states has been dubbed “hybrid warfare” or “hybrid aggression”.


Last month, Finland’s Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo said that if the country were to face a surge in migrants similar to the crisis along the border with Belarus, then Finland could close its border with Russia.


Mikko Lehmus, the head of the Situation and Risk Analysis Centre of the Border Guard, stated that closing the border entirely could be difficult, as building a fence or border barrier would not be feasible.


During the migrant crisis of 2015, Finland — with a total population of under six million people — saw tens of thousands arrive in the country.


Teija Tiilikainen, director of the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, has stated that the ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, which has a European Union Association Agreement, could play a role in a potential migrant surge into Finland.


“At the moment, it is difficult to comment on whether Russia would like to make bilateral relations with Finland more difficult if it intends to conduct a military operation in Ukraine. But that’s not an impossible thought,” Tiilikainen said.




Source: Breitbart

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