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News > Finland

Finland to Use Reservists to Reinforce Its Border With Russia

  • Guards at Vaalimaa border checkpoint in Virolahti, Finland, Dec. 2023.

    Guards at Vaalimaa border checkpoint in Virolahti, Finland, Dec. 2023. | Photo: X/ @StratNewsGlobal

Published 15 May 2024

Currently, the Border Guard has over 10,000 personnel, with around 2,500 active agents.

On Wednesday, Defense Minister Antti Häkkänen presented a draft legislative reform that will allow reservists to be called up to reinforce security on the eastern border with Russia in exceptional circumstances.


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This reform, which will be expedited through the Finnish Parliament (Eduskunta), will affect around 1 percent of the 900,000 personnel that make up the reserve force of the Armed Forces, specifically those who have completed mandatory military service in the Border Guard.

The aim of this amendment is to enhance the country's capacity to deal with situations where border security is seriously compromised, for example, due to a massive influx of refugees or a catastrophe, according to a statement from the Ministry of Defense.

"We want to ensure that in any circumstance, such as when the instrumentalized flow of migrants is used to destabilize Finland, our country has enough personnel to monitor and manage the border," Häkkänen said. 

If deployed, reservists would operate at all times under the supervision of the Border Guard and carry out low-risk tasks such as border surveillance, traffic control, and logistical work.

Finland's Border Guard currently has over 10,000 personnel, with around 2,500 active surveillance and border control agents and the rest reservists.

Finland completely closed its border with Russia to people traffic at the end of last November after detecting an unusual increase in the arrival of refugees from third countries through the neighboring nation, a phenomenon Helsinki considers "a hybrid attack" by Moscow.

The Nordic country then requested assistance from the European border agency FRONTEX, which came to its aid by deploying around 50 border guards on the border with Russia, although currently only a third of those personnel remain in Finland.

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