The Kremlin has voiced deep regret and accused Finland of adopting a Russophobic stance following Helsinki's decision to shut down four key border crossings with Russia.
According to Reuters, this move by Finland, a nation that recently joined the NATO military alliance and is a member of the European Union, is aimed at curbing the influx of asylum seekers, a situation Finland alleges is orchestrated by Moscow.
Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, countered Finland's claims in a news briefing, insisting that Russia is not pushing illegal migrants towards the Finnish border.
He stressed that Russian border operations are being conducted in full compliance with international rules.
The closure of these crossings, which are the most frequented points along the Finnish-Russian border, marks a significant shift in Finland-Russia relations.
Peskov lamented the loss of previously good, pragmatic relations based on mutual respect, now overshadowed by what he describes as Finland's exclusively Russophobic attitude.
The tension between the two countries has been escalating, particularly since Finland's decision to join NATO in April, a move driven by Russia's ongoing military actions in Ukraine, which Russia refers to as a "special military operation."
This decision represents a departure from Finland's historical stance of non-alignment and has significantly strained its relations with Russia. Helsinki's recent accusations against Moscow for manipulating migrant flows as retaliation for Finland's increased defense cooperation with the U.S. further exacerbate these tensions.