Latvia-Belarus border construction costs rise by €15 million

Construction on the Latvian-Belarusian border will cost EUR 53,573,008 with value-added tax (VAT) due to price increases, with a rise of of EUR 15,476,766, according to documents submitted by the Ministry of Interior (IeM) for agreement, LETA reported March 16.

The draft decision of the Government foresees allowing the State Real Estate (VNĪ) to take on financial commitments for a priority phase of 83.9 kilometers along the land of Latvia-Belarus for a total amount of €53,573,008 with VAT, including construction costs of €2,002,618, construction costs of €51,394,214, but costs of supervision - €176,176.

Last year 441 persons were detained for illegally crossing the border of Latvia-Belarus and thousands were prevented from crossing after announcing the state of emergency which allowed the Border Guard to act more independently. 

General Guntis Pujāts, chief of the State Border Guard, said: “In total, there are more than 6500 [illegal border crossings] attempts prevented so far. My inner conviction is that if the [emergency] had not been announced, thousands would have been illegally pushed into Latvia from Belarus. It can't be said that this challenge is over,” adding that recently there has been a reduction in the numbers since presumably more migrants are pushed toward Poland. Most migrants come from Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka.

Therefore, the construction of a permanent fence on the eastern border remains a matter of concern. At present, a temporary fence has been constructed on a large part of the Latvian-Belarusian border. At the beginning of this year, State Real Estate (VNĪ) launched a tender on the construction of a permanent fence. The competition of six construction companies was won by Citrus Solutions. However, due to changes in the supply capabilities of materials caused by sanctions, the company withdrew its application. A new tender was announced on March 8, the results of which should be known next week. 

 

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