Lithuania will build a fence around the border, some 500 kilometers long. The bill on this matter was approved by the government in Vilnius. The fence is to be built within two years, the cost of the project is estimated at over EUR 150 million. The entire border between Lithuania and Belarus is 670 kilometers long.
The draft law on the extraordinary construction of a fence on the Lithuanian-Belarus border is to be approved by the Lithuanian Parliament next week. – This is a separate, special act emphasizing the importance of the project implementation – Prime Minister Ingrida Szimonyte said on Friday. The project implementation will be financed from the state budget. It is possible that EU support will also be used.
The fence is to consist of two elements. The first will be concertina-type entanglements arranged in three levels in the form of a pyramid. The second element will be a Y-shaped fence, on top of which the concertina will also be mounted. Part of the fence will be buried in the ground.
Growing problem of illegal immigration
The construction of the fence on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border was undertaken in connection with the growing migration problem, which intensified at the end of May. This year, over 4,000 people illegally crossed the green border from Belarus to Lithuania. people. In the whole of 2020, only 81 migrants were detained. Vilnius is convinced that the influx of immigrants is the result of Minsk’s actions, which is thus reacting to EU sanctions and Lithuanian support for the Belarusian opposition.
A regulation of the Ministry of the Interior of Lithuania has been in force since Monday, allowing border guards to return migrants who are trying to get from Belarus to Lithuania in forbidden places. They are directed to border crossings or to diplomatic missions.
Last day, Lithuanian border guards detained two migrants, and over 100 people were returned to Belarus. Overall, more than 700 migrants have been turned back this week.
Lithuania’s border with Belarus is 670 km long.
Main photo source: Karolis Kavolelis / Shutterstock