HELENSKY: After Moscow announced a military call-up, there was a rush to the border, and Finland announced on Monday that it has experienced the busiest weekend of the year for Russians entering the country.
The eastern border last weekend saw the busiest weekend of the year, according to Finnish Border Guard's Mert Sasioglu who spoke to AFP.
According to the border agency, about 8,600 Russians crossed the land border into Finland on Saturday, and about 4,200 did the same in the opposite direction.
More than 8,300 Russians arrived on Sunday, and only less than 5,100 survived. According to Saccioglu, "the arrival rate is almost double what it was a week ago."
Mobilization is the primary reason, but it can also be partly attributed to the fact that during the summer, both Finland and Russia loosened COVID-19 restrictions.
On 23 September, the Nordic nation announced that it would "significantly restrict the entry of Russian citizens" and would make a decision in "the coming days".
Although the ban has not yet been implemented, the border guard service said it would be ready to do so "within a day".
As the situation changed, Scioglu said they were preparing for a "difficult development".
"It is possible that illegal border crossing efforts will increase if travel is restricted," he said. Border guards arrested four people on Saturday on suspicion of illegal border crossings in eastern Finland's Kusamo region. When he was taken into custody, he immediately applied for asylum.