The first phase of construction works on the 83.9 km long Latvian-Belarusian external land border is actively underway. Since August, 5 km of the stand-alone fence have been constructed, while the total length of construction works is 28.1 km out of the deforested 57 km, informs Renārs Griškevičs, Chairman of the Board at SJSC “State Real Estate” (SRE).
Land grading works are underway in the 12-metre-wide border strip and the necessary infrastructure is being built to construct the border strip with patrol roads and footbridges. Four bridges over several border rivers have also already been built. With the increase in deforested area and the completion of the infrastructure works, the construction of the fence will be accelerated by a factor of five - up to one kilometre per day.
The modernized control zone with the almost four-metre high fence on the Latvian-Belarusian border is an important step towards strengthening our internal security, as well as the external border of Latvia and the whole of the European Union. The temporary fence has already proved to be a major obstacle to crossing the border, and the permanent fence will fulfil this function even better. Our services ensure order and security at the border on a daily basis, but at the same time, in the face of a hybrid attack, we continue to work determinedly on building the infrastructure to continue to help border guards deter illegal migrants from entering Latvia and Europe,” said Minister of the Interior Kristaps Eklons.
We see on a daily basis that even the temporary fence on the border with Belarus is fulfilling its function, namely to help prevent uncontrolled crossing of the external border of the European Union. The parameters of the permanent fence have been designed with an optimal balance between security needs and construction costs. At the moment, there is no increase in the flow of persons crossing the state border illegally, but we prevent 60-80 people a week from trying to enter Latvia illegally,” said General Juris Martukāns, Deputy Head of the State Border Guard Service.
Currently, ground preparation works are underway - stump breaking, milling, construction of culverts, trenches and embankments. Also, according to the schedule submitted by the State Collateral Agency and JSC “Latvia’s State Forests”, 57 km of the more than 80 km to be deforested in the first phase have been deforested.
We have given the Latvia-Belarus border construction project the highest priority because we understand both the difficult geopolitical circumstances and the importance of a secure border. SRE is doing everything within our power to ensure that it progresses successfully and that the works are completed in the shortest possible time. As long as all the preliminary work is done, the speed of the fence construction is comparable to that in other countries, such as Lithuania,” Renārs Griškevičs, Chairman of the Board of SRE, is convinced.
The Latvia-Belarus border runs through topographically complex terrain. And one of our biggest challenges is the surveying and deforestation of the border strip, so I can only call on all parties involved to actively engage in the work so as not to unnecessarily delay the further construction of the fence and border infrastructure,” calls Ramona Innusa, Director of the State Security Agency.
In total, the project will construct a 173 km border strip between Latvia and Belarus. The first 85.9 km phase will be completed by spring 2023 and the second 63.9 km phase by spring 2024. In parallel with the design and construction of the first two phases, the technical specification for the third phase, the Daugava section, is being developed.
The Eastern Border Construction Project is an inter-institutional cooperation project. In accordance with the Law on Construction of the External Land Border Infrastructure adopted by the Saeima on 12 November 2021, the SRE manages, implements and supervises all works necessary for the construction of the border infrastructure, implements procurement procedures necessary for the construction and concludes procurement contracts. The implementation of the project is supervised by the External Border Infrastructure Construction Monitoring Committee, which includes representatives from the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economics, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, State Border Guard, State Security Agency, SJSC “Latvia State Radio and Television Centre”, SJSC “State Real Estate”, JSC “Latvia’s State Forests”, Latvian Geospatial Information Agency and the National Armed Forces.
The latest information on construction works on the Latvian-Belarusian border can be found on the SRE website:
Under the management of the SRE, work is currently in progress on 46 different nationally significant construction projects with a total project budget of more than 230 million euros. The capital company provides professional real estate management and administration for 365 building and construction properties, comprising 1,100 buildings with a total area of 0.95 million square metres, as well as land under buildings with an area of 602 hectares and 3,536 land properties with a total area of 903 hectares. SRE is one of 23 Latvian companies that have received the highest platinum award as part of the Sustainability Index of the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, confirming the good governance and sustainability of its operations. The company was founded in 1996 and its 100% shareholder is the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Latvia.
More information for the media:
SJSC “State Real Estate”
Corporate Communication and Sustainability Division
Tel. 20235301; firstname.lastname@example.org