Lithuania completes construction of border fence with Belarus to deter illegal immigration

The border fence erected by Lithuania on its border with Belarus
By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

The construction of a razor-wire border fence between Lithuania and Belarus was completed at the end of last week, the state-owned energy group, EPSO-G, which was tasked with the project confirmed.

The barrier, which began construction in 2021 following an influx in illegal immigration from Belarus that breached the European Union’s external border, stretches approximately 502 kilometers and is 4 meters high.

The Vilnius government said the cost amounted to approximately €150 million.

“The team of contractors mobilized by EPSO-G installed the last planned segments of the fence at the border with Belarus last weekend,” Antanas Bubnelis, a spokesman for the company, told the Baltic News Service.

“The project team continues its work, which includes maintenance tasks, elimination of minor barrier deficiencies, rehabilitation of roads and construction sites, and the management of project documentation. Today, we will report about the progress of the project to the governmental supervisory commission,” he added.

Lithuania has vowed to crack down on illegal immigration into its territory after 4,200 irregular migrants crossed into the country from Belarus last year. Both Warsaw and Vilnius have accused the Lukashenko regime in Minsk of trafficking migrants into EU territory.

Lithuanian border guards have reportedly pushed back more than 13,000 people since Aug. 3, 2021, and the State Border Guard Service (VSAT) insists Belarusian border guards continue to direct migrants to the border, including to areas where lakes and rivers prevent the construction of a barrier.

In July, Lithuania revealed its intention to ignore an EU court ruling, which held that the country’s border protection policy of automatically detaining illegal immigrants was incompatible with EU law.

The country’s interior minister, Agnė Bilotaitė, said at the time that its emergency measures to deter migrants were in the country’s national interest.

“We repelled an attack organized by the Lukashenko regime, the likes of which Europe has never experienced before,” Bilotaitė said in a statement.

“A hybrid attack that used live humans as instruments has been stopped. Lukashenko failed to turn our country into a holding yard. The road from Belarus is finished — the migrants themselves already recognize this,” she added.

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