Latvia-Belarus border fence construction slower than planned

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The construction of a permanent fence on the Latvian–Belarusian border has been carried out throughout winter without interruption. The planned length has not been achieved though, due to insufficient freezing for the construction works to take place in swampy areas, Latvian Television reported March 28.

About 100 Latvian and Lithuanian workers are raising a fence along the border. The timetable requires that, by April, 52 kilometers should have been completed, but that target will not have been met entirely. Builders blame the weather.

Jūlija Zandersone, executive director of the construction company Citrus Solutions, said: “Unfortunately, the frost did not come this year and the ground was not frozen enough. One thing is that the machinery was sinking, but the main thing is that it could harm people's health. Working in cold water up to the waist can result in hypothermia.”

The construction of the fence in swampy places has been postponed until summer. It is not only a matter of sticking the poles in the ground but also a way of building a path on which border guards could move along the fence.

It is the construction of infrastructure that is another reason why jobs do not run as smoothly as expected. In the course of the design, it was understood that in many places the 12-meter-wide band allotted will be too narrow to, for example, build a serpentine road on a steep mound. It is therefore necessary to carryout more tree felling, and the fence is constructed not in one go but in stages.

The working schedule foresees the end of the first round of the project in the autumn of this year, which provides for the construction of about half of the required length of the fence. The total length is planned at 173 kilometers, which should be finished by the spring of 2024.


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