The construction of barriers and monitoring equipment on the Lithuanian border with Belarus will cost around half a billion euros, according to Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė.
"We are convinced that a complex solution including the construction of a physical fence, border surveillance using modern technology and stepped-up border control in cooperation with EU allied forces would stop the majority of illegal migrants,” Bilotaitė said after meeting with visiting European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson.
The barrier “would prevent the consolidation of the illegal migration route via Lithuania, which would also prevent illegal migrants from reaching Western countries," Bilotaitė said.
She said the country needs more financial assistance, as well as help from the European Commission's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.
Lithuania is set to receive as early as this month the 10–12 million euros in assistance pledged by the European Commission.
However, the country needs 100 million euros this year and another 300 million euros next year, according to a statement from the Interior Ministry.