Baltic states to strengthen border security with Russia, Belarus

MILAN — Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have approved the construction of defense facilities along their borders with Russia and Belarus, which will include a network of warehouses.

Friday’s decision to green light the project comes as Russia continues its work invasion of nearby Ukraineand Belarus reveals plans to create a military doctrine for its use nuclear weapons.

“Russia’s War in Ukraine showed that in addition to equipment, ammunition and manpower, physical border defense facilities are also required to defend Estonia from the first measure,” Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said in a press release.

The agreement, signed by the three Baltic defense ministers, calls for the construction of “anti-mobility defense facilities” on their respective borders with allies Russia and Belarus. Border security measures are intended to prevent and counter military threats.

The timeline envisioned for construction was not specific, but rather he said countries would build the infrastructure over the next few years. It is to include in part a network of warehouses, support points and distribution lines.

Estonia’s defense ministry further said in a statement that “in peacetime, no explosives, barbed wire or other obstacles are placed on Estonia’s borders.”

Estonian public broadcaster ERR News mentionted construction of the warehouses will begin in early 2025. The agency also said the cost of the defense facilities is estimated at 60 million euros (US$65 million), but it is not clear if that price applies to just the warehouses or more.

The border plan builds on commitments made by the allies at the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid, Spain, where alliance members agreed they must be ready to defend their territory from the launch of an attack in order to stop or repel enemy troops.

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In a similar way, Finland in 2022 began to build a barrier on the border parallel to Russia, which will be about 124 miles.

The defense ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia also signed a letter of intent on Friday on high-mobility artillery missile systems to create a framework for sharing the systems.

Elisabeth Gosselin-Malo is Defense News’ Europe correspondent. It covers a wide range of topics related to military procurement and international security, and specializes in aviation reporting. Its headquarters are in Milan, Italy.

Read the original at Defence247.gr

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