Finnish president expresses concern over durability of Schengen area

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 25, 2015
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Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said on Tuesday he was concerned about the capacity of the Schengen area against the current background of refugee flood.

"Free movement cannot mean uncontrollable movement," Niinisto said when addressing Finnish diplomats.

His comments came in the wake of increased calls in various countries of the area for a restoration of border controls.

Niinisto noted the refugee crisis has put the Schengen agreement to a test. There are no regular border controls in travel between Schengen countries of the EU. The agreement allows only temporary controls for example to ensure the security of a major event. The ratio of settling refugees in various Schengen countries has also become a matter of debate.

Niinisto said Europe is facing a conflict of values and possibilities. "The honor of the civilized world demands that these people get help, but on the other hand the limits of reception may be reached," he said.

Discussing the security situation of Finland, Niinisto said Finland is not responsible for the defense of the Baltic countries south of Finland. He dismissed even partial responsibility.

"Now and then we hear thoughts about a partial Finnish responsibility for the defense of the Baltics. But Finland is not in a position to give security guarantees to others as Finland itself has no security guarantees," he said. Endit

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