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Russia, Finland Agree To Do More To Patrol Border

Finland and Russia have agreed to step up cooperation along their shared border, through which a growing number of migrants are entering the European Union.

Finish Interior Minister Petteri Orpo made the announcement on January 27.

The 1,340-kilometer border between Finland and Russia is also a frontier of the EU's free-travel Schengen area, but Orpo said issues would be handled bilaterally between Finland and its giant neighbor. He did not specify what measures might be taken.

"Although Finland's eastern border is also the outer border of the Schengen area, both Finland and Russia want to solve the issue primarily on bilateral basis," Orpo said in a statement after meeting his Russian counterpart Vladimir Kolokoltsev.

Last week, the government criticized Moscow for allowing increasing numbers of asylum seekers across their Arctic border. It also stressed that a common European solution must be found to the refugee crisis.

According to the Finnish border guard, about 400 asylum seekers have come from Russia to Finland this month, compared with about 700 in the whole of 2015.

Based on reporting by Reuters