Latvia-Belarus border fence construction to be accelerated

On Tuesday, 29 August, the government tasked the responsible parties with speeding up infrastructure building on the Latvia–Belarus border, Latvian Television reports. 

internal Affairs Minister Māris Kučinskis pointed out that all bureaucratic barriers have been removed and that the fence should be ready by the end of this year. The timetable is clear for everyone, and funding for both fence and video surveillance is available, so there are no more issues, the interior minister after the government's decision on Tuesday.

"The fence will be ready this year, except for some of its hard-to-reach places, which will probably have to be completed next year.[..] At the moment, all the barriers have been removed for the construction of the fence. At issue is the capacity of builders, how many subcontractors, how many brigades we can attract. I think army help is possible, too, to accelerate it all," the minister said.

The state JSC State Real Estate (VNĪ) is also committed to completing the work. 

“What the government has postponed for another two weeks now is the accelerated schedule for the installation of video surveillance, particularly on the Belarus border, because, for government members, the pace offered by the Latvian State Radio and Television Centre (LVRTC) seemed too long,” Kučinskis explained.

The government has asked LVRTC to find all the disruptive factors the government promises to remove.

The term of work proposed by LVRTC is 30 months or two and a half years since it's not just about video surveillance, but a significantly more sophisticated set of infrastructure.

It includes electricity supply, optical cable network infrastructure, and deployment of various sensors that would allow artificial intelligence to carry out a large part of the border surveillance work.

Tuesday's government decision will also accelerate the construction of the Latvian-Russian border fence. Funding has now been earmarked for this purpose. A fence on the border with Russia is scheduled for 2025.

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