Finland to start building fence on Russian border next year

Nov 18, 2022, 8:56 AM | Updated: 10:20 am

Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin speaks at the Slush 2022 Startup Event in Helsinki, Finland, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022. (Emmi Korhonen/Lehtikuva via AP)

(Emmi Korhonen/Lehtikuva via AP)

HELSINKI (AP) — Construction of a planned barbed-wired fence along the Finland’s long border with Russia will start early next year, Finnish border guard officials said Friday, amid concerns in the Nordic country over the changing security environment in Europe.

The initial three kilometer (1.8 mile) stretch of the fence will be erected at a crossing point in the eastern town of Imatra by the summer of 2023. It will eventually extend to a a maximum of 200 kilometers (124 miles).

Finland’s 1,340 kilometer (832 mile) border with Russia is the longest of any European Union member.

In October, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said there was consensus among lawmakers to build a fence to cover parts of border with Russia in a project that is estimated to cost a total of 380 million euros ($393 million) and scheduled to be completed by 2026.

According to Marin, the fence’s main purpose would be helping border guards in monitoring and preventing possible large-scale illegal migration.

Her government hasn’t publicly cited Russia’s war in Ukraine or Finland’s decision to join NATO as a reason to build a fence. But Helsinki is concerned over developments both in Russia and Ukraine, as well Moscow’s threats of retaliation should Finland join the military alliance.

Politicians and experts have said it is not sensible – or even possible – to erect a fence along the entire length of Finland’s long eastern frontier that runs mainly through thick forests. In some places the Finnish-Russian border is marked only by wooden posts with low fences meant to stop stray cattle.

The fence, initially proposed by the Finnish Border Guard, is set to be built in stages ranging from five kilometers (3 miles) of up to 52 kilometers (32 miles).

It would be erected mainly in southeastern Finland, where most border traffic to and from Russia takes place, but short sections would also be built in the northern Karelia region and the Lapland region in the Arctic.

Col. Vesa Blomqvist, border guard commander in southeastern Finland, said that once completed, the fence will significantly bolster border control.

“The fence gives border guard patrols more reaction time by revealing movement of people and preventing, slowing down and directing movement,” Blomqvist said in a statement.

The fence will be three meters (10 feet) high with a barbed-wire extension on top. Apart from extensive patrolling, the Finnish border guard currently uses electronic and other devices to monitor border activity.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

‘Torso Killer’ admits killing 5 women decades ago near NYC

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — A serial killer known as the “Torso Killer” admitted Monday to killing a 23-year-old woman outside a Long Island shopping mall in 1968 and four other women decades ago. Richard Cottingham was arraigned earlier this year on a second-degree murder charge in connection with Diane Cusick’s death during a trip she […]
10 hours ago
This cover image released by Dutton shows "Three-edged Sword" by Jeff Lindsay. (Dutton via AP)...
Associated Press

Review: Thief forced to steal a vital U.S. defense secret

“Three-Edged Sword,” by Jeff Lindsay (Dutton) After the Cold War, former Soviet spy Ivo Balodis built himself a fortress in an abandoned missile site on an island in the Baltic Sea. There, he has continued to deal in secrets — but for profit instead of for country. Balodis is now in possession of America’s most […]
10 hours ago
FILE - Insurrections loyal to President Donald Trump riot outside the Capitol in Washington, on Jan...
Associated Press

Ex-town official gets 15 days for role in Jan. 6 riot

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts ex-town official seen on surveillance video marching through the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced to 15 days in prison for her role in the riot carried out by supporters of former Republican President Donald Trump to stop the transfer of presidential power to Democrat Joe Biden. Suzanne […]
10 hours ago
Associated Press

Lockheed teams with Israel’s Rafael on laser defense

JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. weapons maker Lockheed Martin Corp. and Israeli defense contractor Rafael on Monday said they will team up to develop a high-energy laser system to defend against aerial attacks. The system will be based on ” Iron Beam,” a laser missile-defense system that Rafael has been developing with Israel’s Defense Ministry. The […]
10 hours ago
FILE - Former New York Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin leaves a hearing in federal court on Apri...
Associated Press

Bribery, fraud charges dismissed against ex-NY Lt. Governor

NEW YORK (AP) — Bribery and fraud charges against former New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin were tossed out Monday by a federal judge, leaving Benjamin to face only records falsification charges and prompting his lawyers to say it was tragic that the case was ever brought. Judge J. Paul Oetken in a written opinion […]
10 hours ago
FILE - The five turbines of America's first offshore wind farm, owned by the Danish company, Orsted...
Associated Press

Sale jumpstarts floating, offshore wind power in US waters

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Tuesday marks the first-ever U.S. auction of leases to develop commercial-scale floating wind farms, in the deep waters off the West Coast. The live, online auction for the five leases — three off California’s central coast and two off its northern coast — has attracted strong interest and 43 companies from […]
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Finland to start building fence on Russian border next year