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Border between Finland and Russia to be reinforced more strongly than originally planned

Border between Finland and Russia to be reinforced more strongly than originally planned Photo: Finland will expand the barrier on the border with Russia (Getty Images)

The Border Guard of Finland has decided to build a greater number of temporary barriers to prevent illegal border crossings, according to Yle.

The Chief of Staff of the Border Guard of Finland, Kimmo Ahvonen, refused to specify the exact location and appearance of the barriers. Temporary barriers are constructed from NATO standard wire. The so-called NATO wire is a stronger metal wire with barbs than the regular wire. After closing the border in the fall of last year, barriers made from this material were installed at border crossings.

Jukka Savolainen, Network Director of the Center for Hybrid Competences, mentioned that such obstacles are necessary because the "Eastern border of Finland is potentially worse than the Mediterranean."

The construction of fortifications is planned for late winter or early spring. In September of last year, in the city of Imatra, three kilometers of a test fence of this type were completed. In Northern Karelia, a temporary fence has already been partially built in places where a permanent fence is planned.

Overall, between 2023 and 2026, along the eastern border, mainly in the southeast of Finland, 200 kilometers of permanent fencing will be built at a total cost of 380 million euros.

However, it is unlikely that barbed wire or other barriers will be erected along the entire eastern border between Finland and Russia. The length of the eastern land border between the two states is 1300 kilometers. About 70% of the border consists of coniferous or mixed forests, and 10% consists of water resources, lakes, and the sea. These are sparsely populated regions.

Closure of the Finland-Russia border

On November 30, 2023, the Finnish authorities closed all border crossing points with Russia. This decision was prompted by a significant number of illegal migrants attempting to enter Finland.

On December 13, the government resumed the operation of two border crossing points; however, within a few days, they were once again completely closed due to a new wave of migrants.

On January 11, the Finnish government decided to extend the closure of the borders with Russia for another month. The borders are expected to remain closed until February 11.