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Finland Steps Up Security at Eastern Borders With Barrier Soon to Be Finished

Finland building a border fence with Russia

Finland’s Eastern Border pilot fence, which is due to be finished in the summer of 2023, will be crucial for an enhanced border security system, while the Finnish government has yet to decide whether the Border Guard will be responsible for preventing unauthorised entries to the country.

According to Raja, the Finnish Border Guard, the barrier is expected to be established for tasks carried out by the Border Guard, and a technical system will notify authorities if someone irregularly enters the country, reports.

“The fence prevents immediate passage as well as crossing and undercutting, and slows down and directs the movement, as originally planned. The road being completed will enable the border guard to move more quickly on the border and to intervene in possible border incidents,” the deputy commander of the border guard of Southeast Finland, Jukka Lukkari, says.

Imatran’s Pelkola pilot fence, which has a length of around three kilometres, is expected to prevent irregular border crossings and the identification of those that enter the country irregularly, to later be tracked by the authorities.

Ismo Kurki, the representative at the technical department of the Border Guard’s headquarters, notes that one of the goals has been to detect the bottlenecks in the schedule and points out that gaining enough experience in order to continue this project is crucial.

The road solution designed for crossing swamp areas will be tested at the Salla border crossing in Lapland between August and November 2023, while authorities explain that tendering for fence material supply, earthworks, as well as concrete pontoon supply is underway. Landowners in the target area of ​​Salla have been warned about the construction of a barrier fence.

The EU border agency, Frontex, has revealed that the number of people irregularly crossing the border to the EU through the Eastern border, which consists of Baltic countries, neighbours to Finland, has declined in 2022, as nine migration cases – 74 per cent less than in 2021 were recorded in this area. This route was attacked by increasingly irregular migrants in May 2021, as these rates increased by almost ten times compared to 2020 levels.

This route was also active in the March of 2022, with the number of border crossings among people leaving Ukraine due to the Russian invasion of the country surging. More specifically, over 1.3 million Russians entered the EU via this border since the war in Ukraine started on February 24, 2022.