Finland Constructs First Section of Border Wall with Russia
Finland has put into operation a test section of a fence on the border with Russia near the town of Imatra. The South-Eastern Border Guard of the country has initiated patrolling along it.
This information has been reported by Yle.
The reported section of the fence, measuring 3 kilometers in length, is intended for testing, while the construction of the rest of the fence will continue. The barrier consists of iron mesh fencing covered with barbed wire on top.
Construction of the test section began in February. The fence is equipped with a night vision system, spotlights, and speakers at key locations. Next to the barrier, a road has been built for border patrols and maintenance work.
Along the eastern border, plans are underway to build a continuous barrier approximately 200 kilometers long to prevent illegal border crossings. Preparatory work will start in the autumn, with the actual construction taking place during the winter. According to the Finnish government's estimates, the construction of the entire 1,300-kilometer-long fence will take three to four years and cost hundreds of millions of euros.
In July 2022, against the backdrop of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Finnish Parliament passed a law to construct a high wall on the border to prevent the infiltration of migrants and to avoid various provocations.
"The goal of the new law is to enhance the operational capabilities of border guards in responding to hybrid threats. The war in Ukraine has made this issue urgent," said Anne Ihanus, a senior advisor to the Ministry of the Interior, following the law's adoption.
As reported by The Gaze, the Finnish government plans to strengthen security checks and impose stricter conditions for visas for foreign students and researchers. The reason for these measures is Russia's aggressive actions in Europe.
Conditions for residence permits for students and researchers working in critical security areas, such as dual-use technologies, will be restricted.
The new government program envisions that the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo) will apply broader screening measures when hiring new employees.
Previously, the Finnish Minister of the Interior called for a thorough review of the residence permit issuance system in light of the detention of Russian combatant and neo-Nazi Jan Petrovsky.