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Finland: Newest NATO Member Strikes Land Deals to Build Fortifications Near Russian Border – Reports

© Sputnik / Alexei Danichev / Go to the mediabankRussian-Finnish border.
Russian-Finnish border. - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.09.2023
According to Finland's largest newspaper, the Finnish Defense Forces have initiated the signing of agreements with landowners along the Russian border. These agreements grant permission for the construction of fortifications on these territories with only a day's notice.
"Over the last 18 months, dozens of property owners have signed confidential land use contracts that allow the fortification work to begin on their properties on 24 hours' notice," the publication wrote.
Under Finnish law, both individuals and legal entities, including industrial companies, may own land, including land on the state border.
Upon signing the agreement, the landowner will receive a one-time payment of 750 euros. The contract gives the defense forces the right to build defensive structures on the land and then enter into separate lease agreements for these facilities. The document is valid for 20 years.
In this picture taken January 20, 2016, border zone signs are seen at the Finnish-Russian border in Salla, northern Finland - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.03.2023
Finland Starts Building Costly, Symbolic Fence on Russian Border
"The defense forces will inform the owner of the use of his property for urgent construction by phone, letter or e-mail at least one day before the start of construction," the newspaper quoted an excerpt from the document.
The compensation for landowners will be 4,800 euros per hectare. Any damage done to the landowner's property will be compensated separately, the newspaper said.
Finland became the 31st NATO member on April 4, 2023. Stretching for 1,340 kilometers, it boasts the longest external border with Russia, doubling as the border of both the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

In recent years, Russia has expressed concern about unprecedented NATO activity on its western border under the pretext of "deterrence." Moscow has repeatedly raised concerns about the alliance's military buildup in Europe. The Kremlin has emphasized that Russia "poses no threat to anyone, but will not ignore actions potentially harmful to its interests."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a Foreign Ministry ceremony in Moscow on February 10, 2023. - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.09.2023
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