Officials in the northern Russian city of Murmansk estimate that up to 20 people cross into Finland through Russia on a daily basis. In January, Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini called for urgent measures to protect the Finnish border from the arrival of asylum seekers through Russia.
"Illegal immigrants that cross from the Russian territory can and will be sent back to Russia because we consider Russia to be a safe country for returning migrants that are not eligible for a refugee status and nothing prohibits us to send them back to the country from where they have crossed into Finland," Mika Raatikainen said at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly.
Russian Ambassador to Finland Alexander Rumyantsev told RIA Novosti earlier this month only over 1,000 asylum seekers crossed into Finland from Russia over the past few months. In comparison, he said over 30,000 refugees came to Finland through Sweden during the same period.