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Finnish PM supports partial fencing of Russian border

She said that the issue may need unanimous support among MPs, but added that she hopes a decision could be made quickly.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin speaking to a crowd in Joensuu on Monday. Image: Heikki Haapalainen / Yle

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) said she thinks there are grounds for the construction of fencing along parts of the country's vast border with Russia.

Last week, the Border Guard proposed that fences be built along the most critical parts of the eastern border, as a way to enhance border surveillance. Shortly after that, Interior Minister Krista Mikkonen (Green) told Yle that Finland should examine the idea.

PM Marin said the issue may need unanimous support among MPs, but said that she hopes a decision about the issue could be made quickly and did not specify what that timetable would be.

Finland's land border with Russia measures 1,300 kilometres in length. The Border Guard has proposed that partial fencing of around 260 kilometres would be needed.

"[Building] it would not be a short process and would require several years. That's why unanimity [among MPs] would be important," Marin said.

The PM added that she does not feel that building the fencing would significantly increase tensions between Finland and Russia, contrary to conclusions reached by some international relations experts.

"Europe is at war. You can't get a much more tense situation than this," Marin said.

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