Finland has begun construction of a 124-mile barrier fence on its eastern border with Russia — enacting a security plan developed after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
The Finnish Border Guard said the fence will be 10 ft. tall with barbed wire and surveillance equipment installed on top. It will not span the entire border with Russia but will be built in riskier areas, such as border crossing points and their adjacent areas.
Of all European Union countries, Finland shares the longest land border with Russia, stretching 832 miles. Currently, a simple wooden fence separating forested areas marks the boundary between Finland and Russia.
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The Finnish government green-lit the border fence project in June in response to a rise in illegal immigration from Russia, as Russians fled the country to avoid being conscripted to fight in Ukraine. When finished, the new border fence will cover roughly 15% of the border with Russia and will mainly be used to slow and direct illegal immigrant traffic to areas where border officials can manage the flow of people.
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Construction began with forest clearance at the Pelkola border crossing point in Imatra on Feb. 28, 2023, and will continue through the spring. This portion of the fence is a pilot to test the viability of a larger project, which is estimated to cost in the hundreds of millions of Euros, according to the Border Guard.
A road will be built along the fence for the movement and maintenance of border patrols. The fence will be equipped with night vision cameras, lights and loudspeakers in certain areas.
Road and fence installation is expected to begin in March, followed by construction of a technical surveillance system. The pilot project is expected to be completed by the end of June.
An additional 328 yard fence will be built in the Immola garrison area during the program’s pilot phase. It will be used as training ground for the Border and Coast Guard Academy and also serve as a test area for new surveillance technology.
H/T Fox News (read more at FoxNews.com)
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