Norwegian Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl said she’s prepared to close Norway’s border to Russia in the far north, if there’s any sharp or unusual increase in the number of people crossing it. “We’re following the situation closely, and we can close the border on short notice if we see a need to do so,” Mehl told news bureau NTB.
Mehl was responding to Finland’s decision to close four of its nine border-crossings to Russia, after unusually large numbers of migrants entered Finland and immediately sought asylum. Officials in Finland report that Russian border guards have transported and escorted migrants to the border, effectively turning refugees in Russia over to another country.
Norway experienced a similar influx of mostly Afghan refugees from Russia in 2015, when as many as 30,000 migrants sought asylum after crossing Norway’s border at Storskog east of Kirkenes. “Migration can be used as a means of creating unrest, and that’s a scenario we’re prepared to meet,” Mehl said. She stressed, though, that traffic over the border between Norway and Russia has been “very low” so far this autumn.