The Mexican-American wall. Picture @ Unsplash

Understandably, Sanna Marin is the darling of progressives, praised for the courage with which she faces up to the threat from Russia, with which Finland shares more than 1300 kilometres of border: the concern about such a threatening neighbour is comprehensible, as was the demand for Helsinki’s rapid accession to NATO, carried forward despite the Kremlin’s warnings. Now, however, the announcement of the construction of a wall along the border with Russia, with the centre-right opposition also taking a positive view: “This is a matter of adequately protecting the eastern borders for the future. This idea has broad support in parliament.” The works to build the barrier will take about four years and will cost the state several hundred million euros: but from whom should it protect? Certainly not from the Russian army, it would take more than a wall. At the suggestion of the Finnish Border Guard, which has been handling a significant flow of incoming Russian citizens for months, the wall is designed to repel refugees fleeing Russia. With this decision Finland seems to behave as if it were led by a Donald Trump or a Viktor Orban: Sanna Marin’s government erects the wall against the weakest link in the Finland-Russia diplomatic crisis, Russian migrants. The decision is said to be due to the fear of the so-called ‘hybrid war’, i.e. the migratory flows that the Russian government would use as a destabilising weapon: in fact, Helsinki has already closed its borders to Russian citizens applying for a visa since last September because they put internal security at risk. A window remains open for political dissidents, students and family reunions, but in the coming months the parameters will become more stringent. The silence of the European Union, which has repeatedly criticised the xenophobic and nationalist policies of Hungary and Poland, but which has not even asked Finland for a clarification, is notable for now. Before the project is finalized, it would be wise if the Finnish government paid a visit to ‘Flugt’, the new refugee museum that Denmark opened last June in the former refugee camp in Oksbøl: a few doors should stay open for the ones in need.