WARSAW: Poland’s president on Monday pledged “political support” to Finland after Helsinki closed border crossings with Russia in response to an increase in migrant arrivals.

Last week, Helsinki shut four of its crossings, claiming Moscow was seeking to destabilise Finland by letting undocumented migrants cross into the Nordic country.

Polish President Andrzej Duda called it a “hybrid attack” and likened it to the situation at Poland’s eastern border with Belarus.

Warsaw has long accused Russia and Belarus of orchestrating the surge in the number of undocumented migrants trying to cross the European Union border to Poland.

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“Unfortunately we have over two years of experience in defending our border against migratory pressure,” the Polish president told reporters as he hosted his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto in Warsaw.

“Finland can absolutely count on Polish political support on the one hand, but also on sharing our experiences,” Duda said.

Russia denied on Monday accusations that it was sending migrants to the Finnish border and warned earlier that Finland could close all its border crossings.

“Such a decision would obviously contradict Finland’s national interests,” Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told Russian news agencies.

Finland’s Niinisto said the situation Poland had faced, was very similar to what Poland had reported.

“It appears that some migrants who have tried to pass Europe via Poland, having been unsuccessful in that, have now continued north, to the Finnish border,” Niinisto added.

Both countries have signalled they would raise the situation at their eastern borders at the EU meetings.

“In a longer run it is impossible that each country just by itself… tries to take care of the situation that might break out in their neighbouring country immediately afterwards,” Niinisto said.


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