15:10 GMT +317 November 2019
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    Belarusian-Latvian border

    Great Baltic Wall: Latvia Seeks to Build Giant Fence Along Border With Belarus

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    The Latvian Interior Ministry seeks to erect a 120-kilometer wall along the border with Belarus in order to stem the flow of smugglers and illegal migrants.

    According to a recently published report which is about to be reviewed by the Latvian government, the country’s interior ministry proposes to construct a giant fence along the border with Belarus.

    If the proposal is approved, the construction of this fence may begin in 2018, and is expected to cost about 10 million euros.

    The metallic fence is expected to be at least two-meters high with barbed wire on top and outfitted with surveillance cameras and motion sensors.

    The goal of the new fence is to serve as a deterrent against smugglers, illegal migrants and other ‘intruders’, according to the ministry.

    However, Belarusian political scientist Vitaly Burbo told RT that the total length of the border between Latvia and Belarus is about 173 kilometers, so it remains unclear how Latvian authorities would secure the remaining 50 kilometers.

    "The chief reason for building such walls is ideology. Latvia and Lithuania, the European neophytes, seek to stress their distinction. ‘Here we are, free democratic countries, part of NATO and Europe, and there they are – the backward Russia and its ally Belarus.’ In that regard the fences serve as a symbol of a barrier between civilizations, while illegal migrants are just a convenient pretext," Burbo explained.

    The State Border Committee of Belarus reacted calmly to this development, pointing out that installing additional security measures on the border is a good and useful idea.

    It should be noted that in 2015 Latvia decided to construct a wall along several sections of the border with Russia, with a total length of 90 kilometers.


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