• On Tuesday, Finland — worried about a surge in Russians fleeing the country — started construction of a 124-mile (200 km), 10-foot (3 m) tall barbed-wire fence along its land border with Russia, covering "riskier areas" such as border crossings.[1]
  • Forest clearance has begun to allow road construction and the installation of a nearly 1.9-mile (3 km) fence on both sides of the Imatra border crossing in Pelkola in March. This pilot phase is expected to be concluded by the end of June after the establishment of a technical surveillance system.[2]
  • During this stage, an additional 328-yard (300 m) fence will also be built in the Immola garrison area to serve as a test area for new surveillance technology and as a training ground for the Border and Coast Guard Academy.[3]
  • This comes as part of a massive effort by five EU countries neighboring Russia and Russian ally Belarus — Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland — to fence off the bloc from Russia since the beginning of the Ukraine war.[4]
  • Finland, which shares the longest EU border with Russia, in July, approved new amendments to its Border Guard Act to allow the building of stronger fences amid a reported rise in Russians seeking to escape conscription. The borders are primarily secured by light wooden fences to prevent livestock from crossing over.[5]
  • Meanwhile, Finnish legislators on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed legislation allowing the country to join NATO — pending the approval of Hungary and Turkey — thus increasing the chances of it becoming a member of the alliance before its Nordic neighbor Sweden.[6]


Pro-establishment narrative

Strengthening borders is the right move for European countries neighboring Russia, as Putin's hybrid war against the West is abominably using illegal migrants as pawns to destabilize and pressure Europe. As Finland follows the path of other nations, it’s likely to achieve the same positive results even if Kremlin-backed forces keep trying to force migrants across the border.

Establishment-critical narrative

"Building walls" is an inhuman solution to migration. Moscow can then even claim the moral high ground by blaming the EU once these barriers are constructed. If this is truly an ideological battle between Russia and the West, then European nations and institutions must better demonstrate sound ethics when considering how to handle immigration and refugee flows.

Nerd narrative

There's an 80% chance that Finland will join NATO before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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