2023.03.17 14:40

Lithuania to prep military fortifications

BNS, 2023.03.17 14:40

Lithuania plans to procure military fortifications and store them in 18 different facilities, according to the plan presented on Friday at a meeting of the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defence.

"We will establish counter-mobility parks, ie places where fortification equipment will be housed, and they will include [anti-tank] hedgehogs, and also other physical barriers restricting the potential enemy's movement,” the committee’s chairman, MP Laurynas Kasčiūnas, told reporters after the meeting.

“The procurement process is already underway,” he added.

The work is expected to be completed in about a year. The parks will cost some 18 million euros, but will not include the equipment.

At the same meeting, Arvydas Pocius, former commander of the Armed Forces, said the country should stock up on razor wire and anti-tank objects, which may include building blocks, large stones and other structures.

Anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, explosive material and equipment are also needed, he added.

The parks to store the equipment will be located “near the border”, Kasčiūnas said.

Read more: Poland builds anti-tank barriers on its borders. Should Lithuania follow suit?

"If you use certain fortification solutions, you have to cover them with fire. Some people thought that we were just proposing to scatter those measures around the country and that's it," Kasčiūnas said.

According to him, the plan also includes the defence of the Klaipėda seaport, as well as the dredging of ditches in certain areas and other measures.

Pocius, the former head of the military, also stressed that Lithuania needs mobile rather than stationary fortifications, ie measures that can be prepared in advance and deployed in times of need.

"It is necessary to identify the most probable routes of the approach of the enemy [...], to identify the most probable variants of the enemy's course of action, where you are going to destroy them, then to deploy weapon systems, to plan and integrate engineering barriers," Pocius said.

He added that the experience in Ukraine shows the necessity for fortifications. Meanwhile, the natural environment also plays a major role.

"Around 30 percent of our territory is impassable, like swamps, forests, water bodies, etc. These areas can be nicely integrated into defence plans," said Pocius.

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