November 16, 2023

A Bespoke Ban


A Bespoke Ban
A bike in Helsinki, Finland. Tony Yakovlenko, Unsplash.

As of November 9, the Finnish Border Guard Service has implemented a prohibition on bicycles entering the country from Russia.

Lieutenant Colonel Jukka Lukkari, Deputy Commander of the Border Guard of South-Eastern Finland, outlined a notable surge since August in individuals attempting to enter Finland through checkpoints on the southeastern border without proper entry documentation (and in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine). A total 91 instances were documented, many involving third-country nationals utilizing Russia as a transit route to seek asylum in Finland.

Luccari highlighted that, within the past week, approximately 30 individuals attempting illegal entry into Finland opted to use bicycles. This prompted the imposition of the ban. A spokesperson from the Finnish border services said, "From Finland's point of view, it is quite justified to focus control on road transport. This will help to better control traffic across the border.”

Luccari specified that about three thousand people cross the country's eastern border in both directions every day through the border crossings of Vaalimaa, Nuyjamaa, and Imatra in South-Eastern Finland. Earlier this year, Russian motorized vehicles were also banned from making the crossing.

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