Latviski English По-русски
Sunday 24.06.2018 | Name days: Jānis

Irking Russia: Lithuania is also to start building its fence with Russia

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Linas Jegelevicius for the BNN

What many believed it was a remote possibility due to the complexity and the costs, now has become reality – Lithuania’s State Border Guard Service announced this week it has signed a contract with a contractor to erect a 44,6-km fence on the Lithuanian border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

Contract has been inked

Under 1.3335 million euro deal signed between the service and JSC Gintreja, a Vilkaviskis-based company, construction of the fence on the44.6-km stretch will commence shortly.

Gintreja was picked out of 27 companies that took part in the public procurement tender and the money to it will be provided from the state budget, according to the reports.

The company is expected to build a two-meter segment fence with additional equipment in a few stretches of total length of 44.6 km along the border with Kaliningrad. The fence will be built in stretches of the crossing of the Lithuanian, Polish and Russian state borders at Vistytis and in Sakiai and Vilkaviskis districts to the River Nemunas.

The State Border Guard Service has reportedly already installed technical surveillance systems along the 109-km border along the Nemunas, while the new fence will be built in territories where the border runs on land.

The construction of the fence should be completed by December 20 of this year.

Three main reasons for fence

Eimutis Misiūnas, the Lithuanian Interior minister, explained the necessity of the fence with three main factors.

«First, it will help tackle smuggling, second – breaches of the state border. We all remember that, two years ago, Estonia accused Russia of abducting an intelligence officer at gunpoint on the border. And last, but not least – geopolitical tension. Our main goal is to have fully controlled and monitored state borders with Russia and Belarus in 2020,» Misiūnas told BNN.

According to him, the fence will be with «some adjustments» which make it hard to climb it over.

To some ironically, the news about Lithuania’s readiness to start the construction came along with the front-page news on the visit to Vilnius of US Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

No promises on missile defense system from Mattis

Although Lithuania has long asked the NATO allies, including the United States of America, to provide it a missile shield, none of the countries have pledged to it.

The US Secretary of Defense did not commit to Lithuania in that regard, too. He reiterated that the US was ready to deploy defense systems in the Baltic States to deter Russia, however, has given no comment on the possibility to bring long-range defense systems Patriot.

«We will deploy only defensive systems to make certain that sovereignty is respected,» Mattis said at a news conference in Lithuania after meeting with the country’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė.

Lithuanian defense officials maintain that NATO ought to step up air defense systems in the Baltic States during the large-scale Russian and Belarusian military exercise Zapad this fall.

Lithuania’s Armed Forces currently only have short-range aircraft defense systems and has decided to purchase Norwegian medium-range systems NASAMS.

Putin is belligerent

«Indeed, a NATO long-range defense system installed to protect Lithuania and the entire Baltics is what we need most, defense-wise. However, building a fence along the Russian border also make a sense to me for a single reason: Putin (Russian president Vladimir Putin) cannot live without a war. He won’t stop looking for nagging until his last day in the Kremlin. Only bellicosity guarantees his stay in power,» Vytautas Dumbliauskas, a political analyst, told BNN.

«I like the estimation of a Russian economist that Putin regime can last another 10 years and only then it may show signs of tapering off. So, again, all efforts to ramp up our security are logic and deserve praise,» Dumbliauskas noted.

According to him, Lithuania has to be wary as Russia can try out Lithuanian defense in different ways.

«For example, sending in a bunch of camouflaged troops, which Russia did in Ukraine, or dress them in the garments of Lithuanian Army. All is possible, so, again, the fence will do just good, not harm,» the analyst underscored.

Estonia will proceed with fence soon

Lithuania is not a Baltic stand-out in the endeavour to more tightly secure its border – Estonia has also reported its will to erect a fence with Russia along the Narva River and Latvia has already completed construction of the fence on its 23-kilometer border stretch with Russia.

Approached by BNN, Janek Magi, head of the Border Guard Policy Department at the Interior Ministry of Estonia, said: «Our aim is to build the most modern state border to prevent and detect illegal border crossings and to cover it with technical surveillance. Just to clarify – we are not going to build a wall but a secure combination of physical and technical solutions.»
According to him, Estonia is going to install 555 land border marks and 144 border marks along the Narva River.

«We will also install floating border buoys on the Narva River and on the lakes Peipsi, Lämmi and Pihkva.

With that, we will have an overview and the real-time possibility to gather information regarding all kind of border incidents,» he said.

The estimated cost for the project is approximately 74 million euro.

«We expect most of the work to be done by the year 2018 and the border should be ultimately ready by 2019,» Magi underlined.

As many as 238 illegal border crossers were detained in Estonia in 2016 (in 2015 – 292) and 60 (in 2015 – 66) of them were connected to illegal immigration. Most illegal border crossings are done by accident or in connection with cigarette smuggling, according to the official.

Latvia has completed first stretch of fence

Meanwhile, Latvia has reportedly already built the first 23-kilometer stretch of a fence on the border with Russia, which is one of the measures intended to keep out illegal immigrants, says the Latvian State Border Guard.

The first section of the fence has been constructed in the territory in eastern Latvia guarded by the Ludza regional branch of the State Border Guard.

In the coming years, several sections of a 2.7-meter-high fence topped with barbed wire will be built on the border with Russia, and their total length will be 92 kilometres. Altogether 193 kilometres of the 276-kilometer-long Latvian-Russian border might be protected by the fence in the future. The remaining stretches of the border have natural obstructions like swamps that hinder illegal border crossing.

The total cost of reinforcing the border with Russia is estimated at 17 million euro, and the work is to be completed by 2019.

Ref: 020/

Leave a reply

SRS uncovers numerous violations more than half of inspected companies

State Revenue Service’s Tax Control Office performed a total of 305 thematic inspections of employers in Latvia in Q1 2018. Authorities recorded violations in 171 inspections, according to information from SRS.

Third level pension plan deposit volumes reach new record value

Residents’ interest for pension savings remains high. The volume of deposits made to private pension funds in the first three months of 2018 has reached a new historic peak: a total of EUR 16.5 million has been paid to 3rd level pension accounts, which is 11.6% more when compared to the same period of 2017, as reported by Finance and Capital Market Commission.

Petrol station network in Latvia caught performing fraudulent activities with diesel fuel

State Revenue Service’s Tax and Customs Police have uncovered and put an end to a fraudulent scheme with diesel fuel performed by some network of petrol stations in Latvia, as confirmed by the service.

Kaimiņš: I believe CPCB is performing a political order

In the evening of Thursday, 21 June, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau released three people previously detained as part of a criminal process regarding possible illegal funding of KPV LV party – Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimiņš, his colleague Atis Zakatistovs, and businessman Viesturs Tamužs.

Latvia’s parliament conceptually supports new sanction regulations

On Thursday, 21 June, Saeima supported in the final reading amendments to the Law on International Sanctions and National Sanctions of the Republic of Latvia that are meant to improve sanction regime regulations to ensure efficient application of national and international sanctions, as reported by Saeima press-service.

Storm in Tallinn floods streets, cuts Croatia-Argentina match short on TV

A rain storm has hit northern Estonia on Thursday, flooding some streets in the capital Tallinn, damaged buildings and badly affected the broadcast of an interesting World Cup game.

American banks tested for financial stress show positive results

The U.S. has performed banking stress tests and found that the 35 largest banks operating in the country have enough funds on hand to sail safely through a severe financial crisis.

Saeima fires judge for coming to work in a drunken state

On Thursday, 21 June, Latvia’s parliament supported the proposal to dismiss Rezekne Court judge Arvis Garais from his post. 71 deputies voted in favour, no one abstained and no one voted against.

UK to have three requirements to EU citizens willing to remain in UK

For citizens of the European Union willing to continue living in the UK after the country leaves the bloc, they will have to submit applications and answer three key questions over the internet, according to the country's interior minister.

Weather in Latvia to be rainy and cool during Ligo; next week’s weather to be dry and hot

Weather at the end of the week in Latvia will be dictated by a cyclone. Because of that, there will be instances of rain on Ligo. Weather is expected to improve next week, however, according to Latvia’s State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Lithuania’s blood plasma corruption scandal extends to Latvia

The former head of Lithuania‘s National Blood Centre, suspected of corruption and involvement in unlicenced activity, received more bad news this week from Latvia, where investigators of the Lithuanian Special Investigation Service had questioned the Latvian Health minister, Anda Čakša.

Administrative burden to be reduced for foreign students and researchers

The administrative burden will be reduced for foreign students and researchers, as well as all education and research institutions hosting them. This is provided by the amendments to the Immigration Law approved by the Saeima in the third reading on Thursday, 21 June.

Latvian Economy Minister endures no-confidence vote

Saeima declined opposition deputies’ request for dismissal of Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Swedbank economist becomes new member of Bank of Latvia Council

On Thursday, 21 June, Latvia’s Saeima approved Mārtiņš Kazāks in his new post as member of Bank of Latvia Council, as confirmed by Saeima’s press-service.

Pope Francis’ visit to Latvia will be a national holiday

Latvia’s parliament has approved in the final reading a law that makes 24 September – the day Pope Francis plans to visit Latvia – a national holiday.

ICT specialist numbers in Latvia are below Europe’s average level

In Latvia, information and communication technology specialists form only 2.2% of all employed people in the country, which is considerably below the average level in the European Union – 3.7%. Romania and Greece are the only two EU member states in which the number of ICT specialists is below Latvia’s, according to European Commission’s DESI index.

Hungary adopts prison sentence for helping migrants

Hungarian National Assembly has passed a set of laws criminalising with prison terms some help provided to illegal immigrants by non-governmental organisations.

Harmony plans turning to Constitutional Court to prevent transition to Latvian language in schools

«Why should this reform stay unrealized? It is because schools are not prepared for cardinal changes coming from dozens of other reforms that have already shocked the country’s entire general education system,» says chairman of National Minority School Parents Forum and member of Harmony’s work group in Konstantīns Čekušins.

Deputies detained in KPV LV criminal case not declared suspects yet

Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimiņš and businessman Viesturs Tamužs detained in the criminal process regarding possibly illegal funding of KPV LV party have not yet been declared suspects. Both are currently in police custody. It is likely Kaimiņš will be released later today, 21 June.

Production of mines and grenades planned in Estonia

As the Estonian parliament has adopted new rules on military arms and ammunition production in the country, local defence firm Eesti Arsenal has voiced its plan to build a factory in Estonia to make military explosives.

Total tax debts in Latvia reached EUR 1.224 billion in June

At the beginning of June, total tax debts in Latvia, including topical, halted debts and extended repayment terms were equal to EUR 1.233 billion, which is 0.6% less compared to May, as reported by State Revenue Service.

Switch off internet nationwide during exams – Algerian approach

In an attempt to prevent cheating during secondary school exams, the north African nation Algeria, has turned off internet in its whole territory.

Control Service proposes kicking out shell companies as intensely as offshore companies

Shell companies in Latvia should be combated with the same intensity once shown to offshore companies, says chief of Anti-Money Laundering Service Ilze Znotiņa.

EU imposes tariffs on blue jeans, motorcycles and other U.S. export goods

The European Union will introduce retaliatory tariffs against U.S. exports on Friday, EU Trade Commissioner has stated a top official has stated in the bloc's reaction to Washington imposing steep duties on steel and aluminium earlier in June.

Latvia’s Saeima proposes improving job-combining rules for state officials

On Wednesday, 20 June, Latvian parliament’s Public Administration and Local Government Committee decided to submit for review amendments to the Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials.

Newest comments