HELSINKI (Reuters) -Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto said on Monday it had become impossible to return asylum seekers who did not meet the criteria for protection, and that this had to be taken into account when policies are set.
“Deportation of migrants who don’t meet the criteria for asylum has become impossible, so entering the border means you stay in that country if you want to,” Niinisto said, speaking on a state visit to Poland.
He called for a European Union-wide solution to stop uncontrollable entry to the passport-free area.
“It is impossible that each country just by itself tries to take care of the situation which might break out in a neighbouring country immediately afterwards,” Niinisto said.
Finland on Saturday closed four crossing points on its border with Russia as Helsinki seeks to halt a flow of asylum seekers it says was instigated by Moscow, leaving only four stations open.
The Kremlin has denied sending migrants and said on Monday Finland’s decision to shut border crossings reflected Helsinki’s adoption of an anti-Russian stance.
(Reporting by Essi Lehto and Terje Solsvik, editing by Louise Rasmussen and Bernadette Baum)