Russian authorities have denied their alleged involvement in the flow of asylum seekers across the border between Finland and Russia, Seppo Kolehmainen, the National Police Commissioner, reveals in an interview with Uusi Suomi.
“We discussed the issue at great length. Russian authorities naturally deny that authorities are responsible for anything like that,” he said on Thursday.
Kolehmainen commented on the issue after sitting down with Viktor Ivanov, the director of the Federal Drug Control Service of Russia, and Sergei Smirnov, the first deputy director of the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB), in Moscow.
“The main talking point in our discussions was the role of organised crime in all of this,” he revealed.
He also revealed that the two countries have agreed to develop a joint system to intervene in the activities of organised crime syndicates on both sides of the border. “We'll appoint so-called joint investigation task forces. We'll identify concrete criminal matters and start investigating them together,” he said.
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“We'll take it to a concrete level, to the level of authorities.”
Kolehmainen estimated that the agreement is a leap in the right direction for the situation at the eastern border.
The National Police Commissioner said his visit shows that the demands of President Sauli Niinistö for closer Russo-Finnish co-operation have not fallen to deaf ears. He added that the groundwork for his two-day visit was laid during a meeting between Petteri Orpo (NCP), the Minister of the Interior, and his Russian counterpart earlier this week.
Speculation about the alleged involvement of FSB in the flow of asylum seekers has intensified recently in Finland. Petri Sarvamaa (NCP), a Member of the European Parliament, said on Wednesday he believes the flow of asylum seekers across the border is used by FSB as a means to apply pressure on Finland.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Trond H. Trosdahl – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi