Finnish–Russian border

The easternmost point of Finland is the western part of an island in Lake Virmajärvi, divided by the border. The white and blue striped pole on the left represents the Finnish border zone, while the red and green striped pole on the right represents the Russian border zone. The short white pole in the middle marks the actual border.
Border zone signs in Paljakka.
Changes of Finnish borders from 1323–1947.

The Finnish–Russian border is the roughly north/south international border between Finland and Russia. Some 1,340 km (833 miles) long, it runs mostly through uninhabited taiga forests and sparsely populated rural areas, not following any particular natural feature or river.[1] It is also part of the external border of both the Schengen Area and the European Union.

Border crossings are controlled and patrolled by the Finnish Border Guard and Border Guard Service of Russia, who also enforce border zones (0.1–3 km on the Finnish side,[2] 7.5 km[citation needed] on the Russian side). Entry to a border zone requires a permit. The electronic surveillance on the Finnish side is concentrated most heavily on the "southernmost 200 kilometers" and is constantly growing in sophistication.[3] Russia maintains its 500-year-old border patrol in the arctic region as elsewhere and plans to upgrade Soviet border technologies to both save on cost and to fully maximize the efficiency of the Border Service by the year 2020. But Lieutenant-General Vladimir Streltsov, deputy head of the Russian border service, noted that electronic surveillance will never replace the human element.[4]

The border can be crossed only at official checkpoints, and visas are required. Major border checkpoints are found in Vaalimaa and Nuijamaa, where customs services on both sides inspect and levy fees on imported goods.

The limiting points are a tripoint of Norway, Finland, and Russia in the north on Muotkavaara, and the Gulf of Finland, where there is a maritime boundary between the respective territorial waters, terminating in a narrow strip of international waters between Finnish and Estonian territorial waters.

The land border was demarcated in the Treaty of Paris (1947) following the Continuation War (1941–44), in which Finnish Karelia and Petsamo were ceded to the Soviet Union. The naval border was established in 1940 and more accurately defined in 1965. The border is uncontroversial and clearly defined in law.[5] Both states verified the inviolability of borders and territorial integrity in the first Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe in 1975. An earlier demarcation was included in the Treaty of Tartu in 1920.

List of border checkpoints

From north to south

Passport stamps

The following are Finnish ink passport stamps applied at the Finnish–Russian border.


  1. ^ []
  2. ^ []
  3. ^ "Electronic surveillance grows at Russian border as border guard strength is cut". HELSINGIN SANOMAT INTERNATIONAL EDITION - HOME. 6 October 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Borisov, Timofey (28 May 2012). "Shpion v tsifrovom formate". Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  5. ^ []

External links