(Helsinki) Finland on Tuesday began construction of its new 200-kilometer-long fence on a section of its border with Russia decided after the invasion of Ukraine, border guards said.
The work concerns a three-kilometre pilot project near the town of Imatra in southeastern Finland.
The construction site began on Tuesday “with forest cutting, and will continue to allow the construction of a road and the installation of a fence”, indicated the border guards in a press release.
The construction of an additional 70 kilometers is planned between 2023 and 2025, mainly in the southeast of the Nordic country, on the densest part of its 1,340 kilometer border with Russia.
In total, Finland plans to erect fences of 200 kilometers, for a vast project estimated at 380 million euros.
The three-meter-high metal barriers will be covered with barbed wire, with night vision cameras, lamps and loudspeakers in places deemed sensitive.
The last phase is due to be completed in 2026.
Fearing that Moscow could use the migrants to exert political pressure, NATO candidate Finland amended its border guard law in July to make it easier to build stronger barriers.
Finland’s borders are currently mainly secured by light wooden barriers, mainly designed to prevent livestock from moving.
Estonia, Latvia and Poland have also increased or plan to increase security at their borders with Russia.
In September, Russians flocked to Finland after President Vladimir Putin’s announcement about mobilizing reservists to fight in Ukraine.
Helsinki then considerably restricted the entry of Russian citizens into its territory.