Army commander: Latvia-Belarus border is not well-equipped

Latvia – Belarus border is not very well equipped, the Commander of the National Armed Forces (NBS), Leonīds Kalniņš, told Latvian Radio August 11.

Kalniņš said that there are places where 'holes' remain, and these areas are now patrolled more than others, which requires more human resources than the State Border Guard can ensure. NBS was already providing assistance to the State Border Guard prior to the announcement of the state of emergency in the border area of Latvia and Belarus.

NBS has delegated personnel from the National Guard to guard the border, and various technological intelligence facilities have also been deployed. “The NBS was already in full readiness before the government's decision to declare an emergency,” said Kalniņš.

The armed forces are also addressing the issue of migrant accommodation. The government's decision requires the NBS to provide space and infrastructure to accommodate migrants. “Solid infrastructure” or existing buildings where people could be housed under normal conditions will be identified initially. The NBS commander explained that it is more convenient and cheaper to provide migrants with human conditions in existing buildings.

However, if no such buildings are found, it will be possible to decide on the construction of tents, said Kalniņš. It would require more financial and human resources.

Kalniņš stressed that the NBS had “all that is necessary to provide assistance to the border guard”, including the mobilization of a large number of personnel and technological units.

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