Finland pondering mine defenses on eastern border

Jussi Niinistö (Henrietta Hassinen / Yle)
9/3/2015 11:39 AM
Category: International

The Ministry of Defense of Finland will begin looking into possibilities to mine the nation's long land border, and hope to by-pass the Ottawa Treaty, which bans landmines.

Defense Minister Jussi Niinistö, of the True Finns, was a fan of landmines before being elected, saying the cost otherwise is Finnish blood.

“We have a long border and few defenders,” he once said, although he has now toned down the rhetoric, saying that Finland will not retract from the Ottawa Treaty.

“Mine fields which can be activated from afar are possible now. The domestic defense industry has possibilities for innovation and I can promise, interesting news are on the way,” Niinistö said, speaking recently in front of the Finnish Parliament.

A total of 162 countries have signed the Ottawa Treaty, also known as the Mine Ban Treaty, which bans anti-personnel landmines. Russia, the United Stated and China are among the nations that have not signed the treaty, while Estonia and Finland have.

Both Estonia and Latvia have recently played with the idea of erecting fences on the eastern border.

J.M. Laats

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