Will they soon have to break international law? Finnish border guards on the border with Russia in December 2023
Image: AFP

Finland wants to turn back migrants at the border with Russia. This contradicts international law. Border guards could be liable to prosecution. But the government in Helsinki defends the plan.

In Finland, there is growing criticism of the government's planned law that would enable migrants to be turned back at the border with Russia. Finnish legal scholars, the Child Protection Association, and also border guard employees view the proposals extremely critically. Members of the government, however, defend them. The plan is to be able to turn back migrants in certain areas of the border with Russia for a maximum of one month at a time. The right to apply for asylum is therefore suspended. There should be exceptions for particularly vulnerable people.

Julian Staib

Political correspondent for Northern Germany and Scandinavia based in Hamburg.

The government now wants to get the law underway quickly: proposals for changes could only be submitted for a few days; The official bill is expected to be presented at the end of this week or the beginning of next week. From the government's perspective, time is of the essence: With rising temperatures, it is expected that Russia could also bring migrants into the country outside of the official border crossings that have been closed for months.