Finland's new £300million fence along Russia border is mocked
Bordering on ridiculous: Finland’s new £300million fence designed to keep out Russia is mocked as a ‘complete joke’ as flimsy-looking green barrier is dismissed as ‘suitable for a dog kennel’
- Critics mocked the fence’s shoddy green colour and weak-looking structure
Finland’s new £300 million fence along the Russian border – installed as a security measure after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine – has been ridiculed by Finns as a ‘complete joke’.
Construction of the flimsy-looking green barrier along parts of Finland’s 808 mile border began in February in the city of Imatra.
But critics have ridiculed the design, which lacks the likes of barbed wire or spikes, pointing out that it could easily be scaled and comparing it to a ‘dog kennel fence’
Finnish officials hope it will guard against a repeat of events on the EU’s eastern frontier in Poland in winter 2021, when Belarus – a staunch Russian ally – engineered a crisis by flying in migrants from the Middle East, giving them visas and pushing them across the border.
But one Twitter user wrote: ‘It would be suitable as a fence for a fun dog kennel. Otherwise it’s a joke.’
Border guards posted new images of the barrier on Twitter, writing: ‘Upon completion, the Eastern Border Barrier will detect and delay unauthorized border crossers, control their movements and prevent immediate passage.
Finland ‘s new £300 million fence along the Russian border installed as a security measure after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been ridiculed by Finns as a ‘complete joke’
The flimsy-looking green barrier along part of Finland’s 808 mile border – the construction of which began in February in the city of Imatra – has been compared to a ‘dog kennel fence’
The fence was built close to the Pelkola crossing point in Imatra
‘In a situation of large-scale illegal immigration, a fence is necessary. Even in a basic situation, it helps our work.’
The first stretch of the fence was completed in April, less than two weeks after Finland joined the NATO military alliance in case Russia decided to flood the border with migrants as part of a ‘hybrid war’.
According to Aftonbladet the image of the green fence differs entirely from the images which the border guard shared in autumn, where the fence appeared more robust, was grey and had barbed wire at the top.
Jussi P Laine, a professor at the university of Eastern Finland, said however, that the fence was a terrible idea from the get-go.
‘Yes, that fence pilot looked then and looks like a complete joke,’ he tells Iltalehti.
After projected completion in three to four years, the fence will be 124 miles long.
Laine added that construction of the fence is a waste of taxpayer money and that it is ultimately the contractor who profits.
In response to the reactions, the border guard retorted on Twitter by posting a photo of the fence with barbed wire on top.
They explained that the initial grey fence design will be built, but confirmed that the barrier is not intended to act as a military barrier on its own, and is an essential part of border control.
‘This is what the pilot of the eastern border barrier being built in Imatra’s Pelkola now looks like. The construction of the fence is progressing as planned. There will still be a barbed wire barrier on top of the unfinished pilot fence,’ they explained.
A disappointed user said he ‘hopes’ the barbed wire is added ‘slanted’, suggesting that he could easily climb the fence if it is ‘straight.’
Finland hopes to guard against a repeat of events on the EU’s eastern frontier in Poland in winter 2021, when Belarus – a staunch Russian ally – engineered a crisis by flying in migrants from the Middle East, giving them visas and pushing them across the border. Pictured: Construction of another section of the fence earlier this year
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, Social Democratic Party chair pictured on April 2, 2023
He said: ‘I hope the barbed wire comes and slanted, because I, a 42-year-old man, go over that fence in 20 seconds and 10 seconds if I take my shoes off and get my toes in those holes.
‘If the barbed wire is straight up, then with the help of a rag mat in more than 30 seconds.’
The border guard responded: ‘The barrier is an entity formed by a fence, the road next to it and an opening free of trees, as well as a technical control system, which will be an important tool for border control. The fence is not a solution to any threat by itself, but is part of the whole of border control.’
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