Explanation: Most MPs are in favor of building fences on the Finnish-Russian border

Explanation: Most MPs are in favor of building fences on the Finnish-Russian border

Yle’s research has revealed widespread support in Parliament for building stronger fences on Finland’s eastern border.

Yle’s survey was answered by 124,200 MPs, 88 of whom expressed support for such a measure, 22 opposed and 14 did not want to comment.

Of the political parties, only the Left Alliance was against the proposal in the majority, while their governing partner, the Greens, were the most insecure – although a majority of the Greens said they were in favor.

Legislators in the SDP and the center also received strong support for adding fences to the border, while the two largest opposition parties – the Coalition Party (NCP) and the Basic Finns – supported the proposal by a significant majority.

The issue of Finland’s 1,300-kilometer border with Russia has sparked much domestic and international debate since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February and Finland’s decision to apply for NATO membership.

The Border Guard began planning and assessment work on the eastern border earlier this spring, but no political decision has yet been made on building new border fences.

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Building fences across the border “unrealistic”

According to Yle’s opinion poll, the opportunities for hybrid activities on Finland’s eastern border were also a major concern for MPs.

However, all respondents considered it unrealistic and expensive to build a fence across the entire border, and many said instead that solid fences could be placed "critical areas".

Both NCP members and Finns also criticize the government’s apparent reluctance to legislate to close the border if necessary.

"Border barriers would be appropriate for certain selected locations," NCP MP Ben Zyskowicz wrote in response to a survey. "This is all the more necessary when the government seems to believe that Finland could not under any circumstances refuse to receive asylum applications, even in the case of a Russian-backed operation against Finland."

"Basic Finns are ready to do everything that border security requires," Ville Tavio (Finns) said. "The fences themselves will not help if the gate opens with the magic word "Asylum law should be activated so that asylum applications can be suspended."

Many MPs from the ruling parties said fences alone will not solve border control problems, but other issues, such as border patrols, need to be improved.

"Fences can be built to prevent possible unauthorized border crossings," Member of the SDP Johannes Koskinen said. "There is a need to focus on those areas where fences offer significant additional benefits to complement other border controls."

Joonas Könttä The centrist wrote that obstacles and fences would be an effective means of controlling large crowds, especially in the context of a hybrid operation.

"I am counting on the Border Guard’s assessment of where and what kind of barriers would be sensible to build. However, legislation should not be an obstacle if such a need arises," Könttä added.

Opposition to the addition of genuine MPs to the SDP Kimmo Kiljunen and Hanna-Leena Mattila A spokesman for the center said there was no acute need to improve controls at the eastern border.

"Finland’s eastern border is one of Europe’s most effectively guarded borders." Kiljunen said.

"I don’t see it [fencing] if necessary. We have sufficient means to ensure the security of our borders," Mattila wrote.

Johannes Yrttiaho (left) condemned the idea "absurdia".

"I think this kind of speech is a completely absurd result of war psychosis. Trump’s wall of Mexico comes to mind. No border fence can and must prevent the movement of migrants. To this end, there are national and international provisions that can be used with respect for human rights," Herbalia said.

Source: The Nordic Page

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