Latvia and Estonia, following the example of Poland and Lithuania, are considering building a fence on their borders, informed Asta Skaisgiryte, adviser to the Lithuanian president Gitanas Nauseda. – Our eyes are on the institutions of the European Union – she added, referring to Brussels’ support in the implementation of the project.
“We are all talking about the need to build a physical barrier to defend ourselves against illegal migration,” Asta Skaisgiryte said in an interview with Ziniu Radijas broadcasting on Tuesday. She informed that the Baltic states and Poland counted on EU support in the implementation of this project. – Our eyes are on the institutions of the European Union, Brussels, we are waiting for a debate at the leadership level on how European funds can be used – said the presidential adviser.
The need to erect a fence at the external borders of the EU was, inter alia, the topic of talks between the leaders of the countries participating in the Kiev summit of the Crimean Platform on Monday. – We even exchanged an opinion that the concertina wire was the most popular product at present. It’s not in excess, and everyone needs it, ”said Skaisgiryte.
The adviser pointed out that Poland on the border with Belarus has a significant part of the fence preserved from the time when it was the border with the Soviet Union. The Estonian-Russian border is 339 km long, and a large part of it has a natural barrier in the form of rivers and lakes.
Fence on the border with Russia
Latvia, on the border with Russia, which is 246 km long, already has a fence along a section of 93 km, 2.7 m high. The decision to build this fence was adopted by Riga in 2015 in response to an aggressive propaganda campaign against the Baltic states. Latvia also borders on Belarus. The border is 161 km long.
The Lithuanian border with Belarus is 677 km long. On Monday, the Lithuanian government made the final decision about the construction of a fence along the section of 508 km. According to forecasts, the project will be implemented within a year, and its implementation will amount to 152 million euros.
Lithuania also borders Russia on the Kaliningrad Oblast. The border is 273 km long. Most of it has a natural barrier, the Nemunas River. A fence was erected over a distance of 45 km several years ago to curb illegal migration and smuggling.
Increase in the number of migrants
In recent months, the number of illegal migrants from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other countries has increased sharply at the borders of Belarus with the EU. The largest number of people has so far been sent to Lithuania (over 4,000 people), which accused Belarus of organizing the transfer of immigrants to its territory as part of a “hybrid war”. After Lithuania passed legislation allowing its border authorities to send migrants back to Belarus, their groups diverted to the borders with Latvia and Poland.
In the opinion of the adviser to the President of Lithuania, as a result of the tension in Afghanistan after the Taliban takes control of this country, a new wave of migration is to be expected. According to Skaisgiryte, Afghans fleeing the country are likely to choose one of two directions: traveling north through the countries of Central Asia towards Russia or west through Turkey.
Main photo source: Ministry of Defense of Lithuania (kam.lt)