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    A general view of the Norwegian border crossing station at Storskog on November 12, 2015 near the town of Kirkenes in northern Norway

    European Commission Aware of Increase in Migrant Influx in Arctic

    © AFP 2019 / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND
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    The European Commissioner on Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos will visit Finland next week to discuss the issue of Arctic migration flows, the European Commission (EC) spokesperson told Sputnik on Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Alexander Mosesov — On Tuesday, the head of the Russian Federal Migration Service Konstantin Romodanovsky stated that a total of 65 undocumented migrants, attempting to cross into the European Union, were detained in the Russian northwestern Murmansk region over the past four days.

    "We are aware that there has been a slight increase in migration flows in the Arctic, and are monitoring the situation. In the meantime, Norway has confirmed the situation in their case seems to have been addressed. Commissioner Avramopoulos will travel to Finland next week and can discuss the Finnish case there," EC Spokesperson for Better Regulation, Inter-institutional Affairs, Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Natasha Bertaud said.

    In February, Romodanovsky warned about a possible increase in a number of refugees from the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia that would attempt to reach the EU territory through Russia.

    Some 5,500 migrants used the Arctic or "Ice" route through Russia to cross into Europe in November and December 2015, amounting to about 18 percent of asylum seekers in Norway, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry. After Moscow and Oslo held bilateral diplomatic negotiations on the issue, the migrant influx through the route stopped.

    Europe has been beset by a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants fleeing their home countries to escape violence and poverty. The EU border agency Frontex recorded over 1.83 million illegal border crossings in the European Union in 2015.

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