On 29 August, the Cabinet of Ministers decided to allocate EUR 9 748 304 to the Ministry of the Interior in order to continue the construction of the country’s external land border infrastructure, as well as to increase the pace of construction of the external land border infrastructure on the Latvian – Belarusian border.
In order to continue the construction of the external land border infrastructure for the surveillance of the external land border of the State on the Latvian – Belarusian border, it is necessary to ensure the construction of a patrol line along the Daugava river stretching for approximately 16,7 km.
Moreover, given the increased geopolitical risks, including the increase in the number of illegal migrants, it is critical to increase the pace of fence and infrastructure construction.
In order to increase the pace of construction of technological infrastructure on the external land border of the country, the Cabinet of Ministers also decided that the construction of technological infrastructure should be considered as a measure to strengthen the national security of the State border infrastructure, stipulating that the construction (if no funding is found from EU funds) should be financed from the State budget, instructing the State Joint Stock Company “Latvian State Radio and Television Centre” to immediately launch the necessary procurement procedures for the construction of the technological infrastructure as soon as possible in those sections of the external land border between Latvia and Belarus, as well as between Latvia and Russia, where funding for its installation has not yet been found.
As of 11 August 2021, 14 305 persons have not been allowed to cross the State border outside the border crossing points and procedures established for lawful entry, including 4 045 persons in 2021, 5 286 persons in 2022 and 6 379 persons between 1 January 2023 and 24 August 2023.
According to the risk analysis and forecast carried out by the State Border Guard and State security authorities, there is and will be a significant risk that the flow of third-country nationals (both the number of persons and the number of groups of persons) to the Latvian – Belarusian state border will not decrease, but will continue to increase.
Since the beginning of the year, cases of damage to the infrastructure of the Republic of Latvia (temporary and permanent fence) by third-country nationals with the support of unknown persons moving from the territory of the Republic of Belarus have been detected, with a total of 49 such cases recorded in 2023.
The competent authorities of the Republic of Lithuania and the Republic of Poland also continue to receive information on illegal crossing of the State border from the territory of the Republic of Belarus. It is essential to ensure a coordinated inter-national response to such illegal border crossings in order to ensure equal protection of the borders with the Republic of Belarus throughout the region.
The assessment of the pace of the ramp-up by the parties involved has now led to a solution that would allow for a significant increase in the pace of the construction of the border infrastructure, with the fence being fully completed by July 2024, with additional resources being mobilized. The builder, in cooperation with the SRE, continues to explore possible solutions to accelerate the construction of the fence and complete it in an even shorter timeframe by bringing in additional subcontractors. The Cabinet of Ministers’ decision foresees that the construction design solutions for all parts of Phase 2 will be finalized by 15 September this year and submitted to the State Agency for Security for evaluation. In addition, tasks related to the involvement of local traders are foreseen to increase the pace of construction in cooperation with Latgale municipalities and the Ministry of Economy. In order to minimize the risks of subcontractors not being paid on time for the work done, a task is foreseen for the SRE to make direct payments to them in case of problems with the general contractor.
Communication Department of the Ministry of the Interior