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The Baltic states will create a “drone wall”. This is how they want to protect the borders

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The countries of the Baltic Sea region have agreed to create a “wall of drones” to protect external state borders using unmanned aerial vehicles, said Agne Bilotaite, head of the Ministry of Interior of Lithuania. During Friday's meeting in Latvia, it was also agreed to organize joint evacuation exercises in the countries of the region.

Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Lithuania Agne Bilotaite met on Friday at Latvia with delegations from the Baltic countries: Poland, Finland and Norway.

– This is a completely new initiative: a drone wall from Norway to Poland, the aim of which is to use drones and other technologies to protect our border. (…) This will allow us to protect ourselves against provocations from unfriendly countries and prevent smuggling, Bilotaite said in an interview with the BNS news agency.

She added that “these are drones that allow us to observe the situation from above and see much further than our surveillance systems show.”

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Lithuania has already made efforts

According to Bilotaite, Lithuania has already planned to strengthen border protection using drones. She informed that the State border guards has established an unmanned aerial vehicle unit, and drones and anti-drone systems are already being purchased.

The minister said countries will now assess what “homework” they need to do. Then, with the help of experts, they will develop a plan to implement a “drone wall”. – Today we agreed on this idea, the next step is specific actions. (…) There is no time frame yet when we will determine (…) when this will be realistic – said Bilotaite.

Money from the European Union may help

The head of the Lithuanian Ministry of Interior did not rule out that the “drone wall” would be created with the help of European Union funds.

– Of course, if we agree on common solutions, we can apply for European funds, and if we as a region submit an application, there is a high probability that we will receive funding from the European Commission – she said.

Joint evacuation exercises

During Friday's meeting in Latvia, it was also agreed to organize joint evacuation exercises in the countries of the region.

– We agreed that we would have to test ourselves in regional exercises to ensure the evacuation of the population, to see how our institutions are prepared to work, to interact with each other, what our ability to receive people is, what the capabilities of other countries are and whether they are they are ready to receive the appropriate number of people, Bilotaite enumerated. However, she did not specify when such exercises would be organized.

The possibility of jointly applying for EU funding for civil protection infrastructure was also discussed. – Ways to finance civil protection at European level must be found, said Bilotaite.

Meeting of Ministers of Interior in Latvia on May 23-24, also attended by a delegation from Ukraine, was the second such meeting. The first one took place in Vilnius last year.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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