NewsFinnish border shutdown: A strategic move in Putin's election playbook

Finnish border shutdown: A strategic move in Putin's election playbook

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin

2:04 PM EST, November 27, 2023

Almost all border crossings between Finland and Russia have recently been shut. An expert from the Finnish Institute of Foreign Policy asserts that this move aligns perfectly with Russian president Vladimir Putin's plan, which he intends to utilize in his forthcoming election campaign.

The decision to close nearly all of Finland's borders with Russia was influenced by a new policy, which aims to stop people from crossing into Finland from Russian territories without the necessary paperwork.

Putin's Election Campaign Strategy

The Finnish authorities report that in the past few weeks alone, over 800 migrants from the Middle East and Africa have crossed from Russia into Finland. This surge is believed to be a planned strategy from Russia. Travel packages costing slightly over 2,000 euros arrange transport nearly to the border.

Margarita Zavadskaya of the Finnish Institute of Foreign Policy suggests that Finland's closing of its borders was anticipated by Putin. She claims this move was part of his strategy mapped out for the election campaign.

"The initiative to close Finland's eastern border is a part of a covert plan by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russians are inciting the Finns who are reacting exactly as anticipated by the Russians. The ploy appears to have worked," Margarita Zavadskaya commented during an interview with Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

Zavadskaya believes that Putin aims to boost his following ahead of the presidential elections. The border closures with Finland can be leveraged in many ways, by portraying the West negatively and positioning himself as the savior of the situation.

"The border closure serves his propagandistic purposes. Russia can argue that 'the West is unfriendly and even refusing refugees'. The Kremlin can fabricate various narratives about this situation. This could play a significant role in the run-up to the presidential elections," Zavadskaya concludes.
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