RIGA (TASS): The Latvian government has approved the allocation of funding for the construction of infrastructure necessary to protect the eastern border of the republic and prevent illegal migration. Among the measures taken is the installation of a barbed wire fence on the border with Belarus worth € 1.7 million, the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs reported on Wednesday.
As noted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Cabinet of Ministers allowed the department to carry out the necessary purchases to ensure the construction of the infrastructure necessary to protect the Latvian-Belarusian border, including barbed wire fencing. “In 2021, it is planned to purchase and install a barbed wire fence. For these purposes, an additional required amount of funding is forecasted in the amount of € 1,729,421,” the Ministry of Internal Affairs said.
In general, according to the calculations of the Ministry, for the construction of border infrastructure in 2022, an additional € 14 million will be required, in 2023 – almost € 19 million, and in 2024 – more than € 6 million. For these purposes, the Latvian government has created a new budget program “Creation of infrastructure on the border of the state “.
Latvia, following Lithuania, faced illegal migration from the territory of Belarus. In the period from 6 to 10 August alone, 295 people were detained, and in total since the beginning of the year – 355. The Latvian authorities have introduced increased control to guard the border and mobilized the resources of the border guard and the army.
The Prime Minister of the Republic Krisjanis Karins announced last week his intention to accelerate the construction of infrastructure on the border with Belarus. The Latvian government also introduced a border emergency by November 10 to increase the ability of border guards to send migrants back to Belarus.
In order to combat illegal migration, Latvia several years ago announced its intention to equip 173 km of the border with Belarus, including erecting a 135 km long fence.
The project cost was estimated at € 27.6 million, and the work was planned to be completed in 2021, however, due to shortcomings identified by the State Audit Office, the construction process stopped. Last week, the republic’s authorities announced their intention to speed up the construction of infrastructure on the border with Belarus.