Sauli Niinistö made the comments during a two-day official state visit to Poland, a country that has experienced challenges at its own border similar to those Finland currently faces.
The Finnish President Sauli Niinistö called on EU member states to work together to find a solution to the problem of a surge in the number of undocumented asylum seekers arriving at border checkpoints.
“A concrete step, in my opinion, could be to restart the debate at the European Union level, because the issue concerns EU borders, and not just Polish, Finnish or national borders,” Niinistö said, adding that he considered it “impossible”. “that each country could find the solution for itself.
“This underlines the importance of having solutions at European Union level,” he said.
The Finnish government decided last week to close four checkpoints along its eastern border with Russia over suspicions that Russian border authorities were deliberately directing undocumented asylum seekers to Finland.
Speaking on Monday at a press conference following a meeting with his Polish counterpart Andrej Duda In Warsaw, Niinistö noted that Poland has recently experienced similar challenges on its own border – a reference to Belarus push asylum seekers at the Polish and Lithuanian borders in 2021.
“All these experiences are very valuable for us, because Poland has been witnessing them for two years already,” he said.
Duda said the situation along Finland’s eastern border was caused by a “Russian hybrid operation” and reiterated Niinistö’s view that it was not just the Finnish border, but also that of the EU.
The Polish president added that his country was ready to help Finland manage the situation on the eastern border, if help was needed.
President Niinistö is on a mission two day trip to Poland, which could be his last official state visit of his two presidential terms. The leaders were expected to discuss bilateral relations and the current security situation, with particular emphasis on the border issue.