Despite the fact that tourists and shoppers from Russia have been the backbone of the economy in eastern Finland, the Nordic country has been consistently restricting travel following the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine, as part of the EU's self-maiming sanctions, even at the cost of lost revenues.

The Finnish Border Guard has recommended fencing off parts of the eastern border with Russia as part of a general security beef-up, to the tune of millions of euros, the newspaper Uutissuomalainen reported.
According to the Border Guard's own estimate, the fence would span 10-20 percent of the 1,300-kilometer border and cover up to 260 kilometers. The authority said the measure was warranted by the recent changes in the security environment, yet didn't provide a further explanation.

Building the fence would take between two and three years, according to the Border Guard. Should the funding permit, though, the construction could be sped up and carried out simultaneously in several locations. The fence would be designed to last 50 years.

Border Guard chief Lieutenant General Pasi Kostamovaara estimated that the fence would cost a few hundred million euros. This sum would also include the necessary monitoring and infrastructure arrangements to enable border guards to respond to illegal crossings immediately and without delay.

Kostamovaara identified south-eastern Finland, which borders Russia's Leningrad Oblast, as the most likely part of the country to host the fence, citing the highest cross-border traffic.

The Border Guard voiced a readiness to build a test section of the fence as soon as next winter and spring. The rest could be build subsequently, based on experiences from the test section.