The construction of the eastern border barrier fence has commenced
A parliamentary consensus on the construction of the eastern border barrier fence was achieved in 2022. The parliament granted a funding for the project and the construction commenced in February 2023. The border barrier fence improves our border surveillance and is a significant part of Finland’s ability to maintain a credible border security level. The barrier fence is a new and significant part of border control. It supports management of disruptions in a decisive way and is an essential complement in situations, in which Finland is exposed to instrumental or otherwise widespread illegal entry.
− The barrier fence will not only significantly improve border surveillance in management of disruptions, but also on a wider scale. The technical surveillance will improve further, says Colonel Mika Rytkönen, Commander of the South-East Finland Border Guard District.
The ongoing construction of the pilot version of the barrier fence in Pelkola, Imatra, is an important phase in the project’s progress. The approximately 3 kilometres long pilot fence located nearby Imatra’s border crossing point is estimated to be complete in June 2023.
− The pilot offers us the chance to find out the best practices for management, implementation, level of costs and the actual construction of the fence. Through this we can ensure success in the next phases of this project, says Brigadier General Jari Tolppanen, Head of the Technical Division of the Border Guard Headquarters.
The landowners were consulted before the decision to build the fence was made. After the pilot project is finished, they will be paid a lump sum for the damage and inconvenience caused by the project. The imposed land area in addition to removed plantlets and trees will be considered. The compensation also includes a default interest for the duration of the construction. The tax authorities have issued guidelines for the taxation of the lump sum.
Before the actual construction work was commenced, the area was cleared out of trees. The works and acquisition of equipment was put out to tender as public procurements in accordance with the Public Defence and Security Procurements Act.
− The level of costs achieved in the public tendering of the pilot project was considerably lower than the project’s budget. However, no direct conclusions of the forthcoming level of costs can be made based on this, since several of the target areas that are built later on are located in areas that are considerably more challenging to reach. For instance, wetlands will need to be crossed and new electricity connections must be ordered for them, states Project Manager Ismo Kurki.
Next, a pilot version of a pontoon road made of concrete aimed for crossing wetlands is planned to be carried out in the areas nearby Salla border crossing point in Lapland in August–November 2023. The aim of this is to find an optimal solution to crossing wetlands. At the end of the year 2023, implementation of targets at the border crossing points and the areas nearby is commenced. The total length of these targets will be approximately 75 kilometres. Each border guard district has their own target areas.
The project website
The eastern border barrier fence has its own site on our web pages, where we will update information on the progress of the project: The eastern border barrier fence | The Finnish Border Guard (raja.fi)
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