Since becoming the most recent state to join the military alliance NATO on the 4th of April this year, Finland has been carrying out construction of a 124-mile barbed wire fence along the Russian border.
The barrier is being built to improve border surveillance and stop Russian migrants entering Finland to flee military conscription.
The construction of a 3-metre barbed-wire border fence is symbolic of a new Europe in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine; one with a lot more tension and antagonism.
Finland's NATO membership marks the end of over 75 years of official neutrality and increases the NATO Russia border by 830 miles. Dr Patrick Bayer, a Reader in International Relations at Strathclyde University argues that Finland’s accession into the alliance has a lot of “symbolic value” and is an “important statement to Russia”.
Russia has certainly taken it that way and responded with a Kremlin spokesman labelling the move an “escalation” and the Russian ministry of defence warning of “retaliatory measures, both military, technical and otherwise”. While it is unclear what specific measures Russia would take, it marks a further escalation in tensions.
This move by Finland marks the latest expansion of NATO. Since the end of the Cold War the alliance has expanded to the majority of eastern European countries including the Baltic states and Poland. Many in Russia and Europe from across the political spectrum have argued this NATO expansion has made Russia feel threatened and is a factor behind its invasion of Ukraine.
Since the end of the cold war every member of the Warsaw Pact as well as three ex-Soviet Republics have joined NATO