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Lithuania to build fence on border with Russia’s Kalinigrad

Border fence with Russian exclave of Kalinigrad set to cost €30 million, majority of which will come out of EU funds

16 January 2017, 5:56pm
Kalinigrad is a Russian exclave between Lithuania and Poland
Kalinigrad is a Russian exclave between Lithuania and Poland
Lithuania has said it plans to use EU funds to erect a fence on its border with Russia’s highly militarised Kalinigrad exclave to boost security and prevent smuggling.

The government plans to start construction of the 130-kilometre fence will start this spring and be finalised by the end of the year, Lithuanian interior minister Eimutis Misiunas told AFP news agency.

The two-metre high fence will cost around €30 million, the majority of which will come out of EU funds.

 “The sum will be enough for the construction of the fence. A modernised system for border surveillance will be installed near the fence, resources for which will be mobilized next year,” Misunas said. “It would not stop tanks but it will be difficult to climb over.”

The stretch of border is a popular route used by Kalinigrad-based cigarette smugglers to transport contraband products into Lithuania.

Misiunas said that the fence could prevent cross-border “provocations”, recalling an incident in 2014 when Estonia accused Russia of abducting an intelligence officer at gunpoint on the border.

NATO is currently deploying troops in the Baltic states and Poland in an attempt to deter Russia from making any more land grabs following its annexation of Crime from Ukraine in 2014.

The Kremlin has vehemently denied such territorial ambitions and has accused NATO of trying to encircle Russia.