Lithuania Asks EU for Financial Support to Reinforce Its Border With Russia

In a significant move to bolster Lithuanian security, the latter is seeking support from the EU to strengthen its border protection with Russia.

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Regarding the issue, Lithuanian Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė noted that it is urgent to modernise and update the border monitoring systems with Russia, Schengen.News reports.

The cost of this modernisation is estimated at almost 16 million euros, while the required funding is €13.7 million ($14.9 million).

Lithuanian Ministry of Internal Affairs

According to the Minister, another €65 million will be needed to update the border surveillance systems until 2030. In addition, since the illegal immigration crisis between these two countries began, the EU Commission has given Lithuania about €100 million in support for strengthening the border with Belarus.

In order to provide information about the situation at the border and to guarantee the security of the external borders of the EU, the Minister further said that most of the border surveillance infrastructure requires updating.

Security challenges remain—the geopolitical situation is a concern, and the spectrum of hybrid threats is expanding. Today, strengthening the security of Lithuania’s 275 km-long border with Russia is our priority.

Lithuanian Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė

EU Granted €9.3 Million to Update Lithuania’s Border Surveillance System With Belarus

Lithuania received €9.3 million in support from the EU in October last year, which enabled updating border surveillance systems along the entire stretch of the border with Belarus.

In the letter recently sent to a member of the EU Commission, Ylva Johansson, the Interior Minister emphasized the contribution that the EU Commission has made in confronting the hybrid attack organized by the Belarusian regime against Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, which began three years ago.

Lithuanian Seimas Parliament Denied Imposing Travel Restrictions on Russian & Belarusian Citizens

Significantly, the Lithuanian Seimas parliament has rejected proposals to impose travel restrictions on Russian and Belarusian citizens despite the concerning situation at the border.

After the rejected amendments, one of the deputies, Audronius Ažubalis, emphasized that such measures can help mitigate the risk of citizens being recruited by foreign intelligence agencies.

Lithuanian authorities announced they would tighten border security measures in April of this year. They asked border guards to be equipped with more powerful weapons and prioritised strengthening selected border segments without delay.

In this regard, the Minister of Defense emphasized the need to increase efforts in anti-mobility measures, aiming to implement them from the end of summer to the beginning of autumn. The plan includes reinforcing the barriers with concrete hedgehogs, “dragon’s teeth”, and “Spanish horses”.