Information from IL: The government can make a decision about the Russian border fence already in the fall – the report will be coming next month

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The Border Guard is currently investigating the construction of a border fence on the eastern border. Based on the report, the government can make a decision about building the fence.

IL's information: The government can make a decision on the Russian border fence already in the fall – report coming next month

According to Iltalehti's information, a 120-kilometer-long fence along the eastern border has been considered in the unfinished report. Vaalimaa's border traffic in the illustration. Jarmo Sipilä[email protected] at 19:16

IL's information: The government can make a decision about the Russian border fence already in the fall. – report coming next month

According to information from Iltalehti, the Border Guard's report on the construction of a border fence on the border with Russia will be completed in August. The Border Guard will determine what kind of fence would be appropriate to build and in which area.

The Border Guard already told Iltalehti in mid-June that it has started a survey of the border fence on the eastern border. The reason was the government's plans to amend the Border Guard Act.

At its session on July 7, Parliament approved the amendments to the Border Act. The law entered into force on July 15.

The reform of the Border Guard Act enables the construction of a fence on the border between Finland and Russia.

When the Border Guard publishes its report, the government can make a decision in principle on the construction of the fence based on it.

The government can decide on financing the fence in September, when next year's budget is decided in the budget crunch. Alternatively, the government could decide on funding the fence already this year in the supplementary budget.

The risk of large-scale immigration in the background

The government's presentation on reforming the Border Guard Act reveals the reasons for building a possible fence.

– Finland's security environment has changed thoroughly and for a long time in recent months, which also requires the strengthening of border security and border control. Strengthening the border infrastructure on the eastern border can be considered as one way, the government's presentation says.

However, according to Iltalehti's information, the possibility of a fence has been discussed mostly from the point of view that it would prevent free movement across the border, not so much military actions. A border fence is also being planned in Estonia, for example, precisely to prevent illegal border crossings.

According to the proposal, building barriers is about preparing for possible “threats endangering border security”. The construction of barriers would enhance the maintenance of border security in normal conditions, disturbance situations and exceptional conditions, and would improve the monitoring and safeguarding of territorial integrity and preparation for military national defense situations, the presentation lists.

– It can also be about situations related to large-scale illegal immigration, especially when they involve the hybrid influence of a foreign state. The obstacles would slow down the arrival of potential unauthorized border crossers into the country, which increases the likelihood that illegal border crossers will be caught near the national border, the presentation states.

A 120 kilometer fence along the border?

Finland's border with Russia is more than 1,300 kilometers long, and a fence is not planned for nearly the entire border.

Based on its information, Iltalehti reported already in June that the fence planned in Finland would be a total of 120 kilometers long, it would cost two million euros per kilometer, it would be four meters high and there would be a meter-high steel reinforcement at the bottom.

The government's presentation states that for Estonia, the border fence is to be built on the border with Russia for a total of approximately 338 kilometers. In Latvia, on the other hand, it is planned to build a 173-kilometer-long border zone on the border with Belarus, which would include a permanent fence about 130 kilometers long.

It is now written into the Finnish Border Guard Act that “the owner and holder of the land or water area in the border zone are obliged to allow the construction of a fence or other barrier at the expense of the state, if it is necessary to maintain border security”.

However, according to the law, barriers may not be built in areas covered by domestic peace. In the Criminal Code, the places protected by domestic peace are “apartments, holiday homes and other spaces intended for living, such as hotel rooms, tents, caravans and habitable ships, as well as the stairwells of residential buildings and the yards in the private area of ​​the residents with their immediately related buildings”.

According to the government's proposal, in addition to fences, obstacles could be used, for example, concrete pigtails, booms, barrels, large sandbags, tripping barriers, deceleration points, trenches, sand and snow ramparts, rock rubble or vehicle stopping nets.

Currently the eastern border does not have fence structures to support border control, but part of the eastern border has light fences to prevent domestic animals and reindeer from crossing the border.

Viewpoint: The fuss seen around closing the borders creates problems for the government July 4, 2022 8:55 PM Parliament approved the controversial border guard law – “This day will not go down in the books of honorable days” “7/7/2022 4:35 PM Does Ve a fence on the border with Finland? This is how it could be 17.6.2022 6:00 The government's disputed border bill received strong criticism from the opposition: “Here is the problem” 14.6.2022 17:09

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