A wall between Finland and Russia will be built from March 2023, announces Helsinki

A fence three meters high, topped with barbed wire and 200 kilometers long, at a cost of 380 million euros: this is what Finland plans to build on its border with Russia. Thus, the Nordic country wishes to strengthen border security, explained the Finnish border guards on Friday, November 18.

Night vision cameras, lights and loudspeakers will also mark particularly sensitive areas, according to the presentation at a press conference by the project leader within the border guards, Ismo Kurki. The construction, divided into three phases, will begin in March 2023 with the installation of a pilot barrier over 3 kilometers at the Imatra border crossing.

Depending on the results of this phase, the second stage aims to build, by the end of 2023, an additional 70 kilometers of wall in the areas around the border crossings. The government has already added an additional budget to its budget comprising 6 million euros for the pilot phase and 139 million for the second.

Finally, the last phase should be completed in 2025 or 2026, according to Brigadier General Jari Tolppanen. “This is one of the biggest projects ever undertaken by border guards”he told reporters.

The war in Ukraine has “fundamentally” changed the game

Fearing that Moscow could use the migrants to exert political pressure, NATO candidate Finland amended its border guard law in July to make it easier to build stronger barriers.

The new amendments allow border crossings to be closed and asylum seekers to be reunited at specific points in the event of a large-scale entry attempt into Finland.

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Although the border between Finland and Russia, mainly secured by light wooden barriers essentially designed to prevent cattle from moving, has “worked well” in the past, the war in Ukraine has “fundamentally” changed the security situation. “In this situation, we have every reason to reconsider our system”Mr. Tolppanen said.

For the latter, this means that “in dire straits” border guards “will be responsible for preventing entry into Finland”a spot ” news “. According to him, border barriers are ” indispensable “ to prohibit large-scale illegal entries from Russian territory.

Estonia, Latvia and Poland have also increased or plan to increase security at their borders with Russia. In September, Russians flocked to Finland after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization of reservists for the war in Ukraine. Helsinki then considerably restricted the entry of Russian citizens into its territory.

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The World with AFP

source site-29