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Sanna Marin defends border fence plans

The PM on Sunday said she did not agree that eastern border fencing was merely symbolic.

Pääminsteri Sanna Marin
Prime Minister Sanna Marin speaking during Yle Radio 1's traditional question hour on Sunday 23 October 2022. Image: Jaani Lampinen / Yle
Yle News

Speaking on Yle Radio 1's traditional question hour on Sunday, Prime Minister Sanna Marin shot back at criticism over fencing on Finland's Russian border.

"You don't have to worry about us building these types of fences for symbolic reasons," she said, adding that fencing was necessary for improved monitoring in border areas.

The premier said that fencing on the eastern border would help Finland fend off hybrid threats.

Earlier this week, the leaders of Finland's main political parties gave their support to a proposal by the Finnish Border Guard to build a partial fence along the country's eastern border with Russia.

The Border Guard has proposed that between 130 and 260 kilometres of partial fencing be built along Finland's 1,300-kilometre border with Russia. The cost of the project is estimated to run into hundreds of millions of euros while construction would take three to four years.

The topic of constructing an eastern border fence initially arose in Finland last year when thousands of Middle Eastern migrants converged on the Poland-Belarus border as part of a hybrid operation. At the time the idea of building a fence along the entirety of Finland's external border was seen as unrealistic from a cost perspective.

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