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Finland pays residents near Russian border for fortifications building permission

Finland pays residents near Russian border for fortifications building permission In Finland, authorities pay residents near the Russian border for permission to build fortifications (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

The Finnish government pays residents near the Russian border for land use. Fortifications will be built on it to protect the country, according to Helsingin Sanomat.

The Finnish Armed Forces, primarily in the eastern part of the country, plan to build fortifications in case of war. The terrain is favorable for defense and combat operations, with important transport hubs nearby.

After the start of the war in Ukraine, landowners' interest in constructing military facilities has increased. These plots are mostly owned by large landowners focused on scientific research.

"The attitude has changed to be more positive. People understand the land use agreement and what it entails," said Colonel Sauli Zaisler, head of the construction department of the Armed Forces.

After signing, the agreement becomes confidential. Over the past one and a half years, dozens of landowners have signed secret agreements.

If a landowner agrees and signs a land-use contract, they receive a one-time payment of 750 euros. This can be seen as a form of compensation for the land.

On lands where agreements with the owners have been signed, the Armed Forces can build fortifications even when there is no threat of enemy attack.

"Land use agreements were concluded for a situation where preparations for defense should begin, but there are no powers to declare a state of emergency," Zaisler said.

Finland's relations with Russia

In April 2023, Finland joined NATO, becoming the thirtieth country in the alliance. Following this, its relations with Russia have worsened, with Russians issuing threats to Finland as a NATO member.

In July 2022, amid Russia's aggression against Ukraine, the Finnish Parliament approved the construction of a wall on the border with Russia. By now, the first section has been completed.