Big increase in illegal border crossing


The Finnish Border Guard Service in 2009 registered a 3-4 times increase in attempts to illegally cross the country’s south-eastern border.


A total of 29 people were caught when trying to cross the border in 2009, Finnish broadcaster YLE reports. Meanwhile, from the Russian side, 250 illegal border crossing attempts were registered. That brings the number of attempted trespassing up 3-4 times compared with 2008. Finland continues to be a key in the EU’s relations with Russia. That is reflected also in the number of visas issued and in the number of people crossing the border. The busiest border crossing point continued to be at Vaalimaa with 2,454,000 individual crossings last year (2,759,000 in 2008), followed by Nuijamaa 1,911,000 (1,997,000), Vainikkala 349,400 (431,000) and Parikkala 18,000 (18,400). Imatra registered 1,099,000 crossings (1,066.000). Finland also has several border crossing points in the north, among them Salla and Lotta.