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Belarus-Latvian Border Fence

Latvia will build a fence on the border with Belarus, in order to protect the country from illegal immigrants. According to the head of the Republics frontier guards agency, development of the frontier will be funded from the budget of 2017. Meanwhile, the official didnt specify the amount of money.

Even though it was initially believed that after the border area with Russia is straightened out that illegal migration routes will be diverted to the Latvia-Belarus border, this is not the situation at the moment. State Border Guard Chief Normunds Garber said that one of the reason for this is the fact that the effectiveness of the Belarus border protection system is at a different level than Russia's.

Latvia is planning on building a fence on the border with Belarus to help combat illegal border crosses, Garbars told LETA on 12 November 2016. He said that next year's budget has funds set aside to begin creating a border zone on the Latvia-Belarus border. He said that work could begin in the second half of the year, and that a high fence will be constructed on certain stretches of the border with Belarus.

Its not unclear so far, what will be the length of the fence. According to the media, construction will be launched at the earliest in a year. A total length of the Latvian-Belarussian border is 173 kilometers. As a reference, in March 2017 Latvia embarked on the construction of a 270 kilometer wall on the border with Russia. The height of the structure is 2 meters and 70 centimeters.

Latvia built a three-kilometer-long fence at the Russian border and said that it intended to extend the total length of the fence to 92 kilometers. However, according to the Prime Minister of Latvia, is not the protection from Russia or Belarus, but only from illegal migrants from Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq who are trying to break into the European Union through Russia and Belarus.

According to Latvias Border Guard Service, although there is no huge wave of illegal migrants, building the fence is an attempt to prevent uncontrolled migration. In 2014, the border guards detained 144 illegal migrants, but in 2015 nearly 500. Since Hungary, Bulgaria and Greece constructed such fences, undocumented migrants may change a direction of mass migration and head for the Baltic countries. Meanwhile, there are no obstacles and barriers for crossing some segments of the Latvian border, the countrys officials admit.

Rihards Kozlovskis, Latvias Interior Minister named Russias aggression against Ukraine as a reason for constructing the fence along with illegal migration. As the fact that the West perceives Belarus as the Kremlins main ally is an open secret, the fence may well be of multitask mode.





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