News

2017.01.17 10:49

Lithuania plans to erect fence near border with Kaliningrad

Algirdas Acus 2017.01.17 10:49

Lithuania plans to use the EU funds to build a fence on the border with Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave. Construction of the 130-kilometre (80-mile) fence will start this spring and will be finished by the end of the year.

The stretch of border is currently a popular route used by Kaliningrad-based cigarette smugglers to ferry this trade into Lithuania.
‘A certain part of land that stretches near the Nemunas River is better protected, while the other part does not have those systems or those systems are not so effective, and we focus on those parts’, said Head the State Border Guard Service Renatas Požėla.
The two-metre (six-foot) high fence will cost around 30 million euros ($32 million) and will be mostly funded by the European Union.
Lithuanian hopes the fence would prevent cross-border ‘provocations’, recalling a 2014 incident in which Estonia accused Russia of abducting an intelligence officer at gunpoint on the border.
‘It is no secret that secret services of other countries use smugglers in order to get information about the condition of our border.’ According to member of the Parliamentary National Security and Defence Committee Arvydas Anušauskas, ‘they probably prepare their workers and plans for that.’

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

RENATAS POŽĖLA, Head of State Border Guard Service:

A certain part of land that stretches near the Nemunas River is better protected, while the other part does not have those systems or those systems are not so effective. We focus on those parts.
 

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

ARVYDAS ANUŠAUSKAS, Member of Parliamentary National Security and Defence Committee: