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Baltic states to build new defences to bolster NATO’s eastern border

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The Common Defense Line Agreement was signed to block Russian aggression in the region.

ANNOUNCEMENT

The Baltic states have signed an agreement to create a common defense line to strengthen NATO’s eastern border with both Russia and Belarus.

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were all once part of the Soviet Union, but are now part of the EU and NATO and are allies of Ukraine, where Russia launched a full-scale invasion in February 2022.

The defense ministers of the two countries signed the document in the Latvian capital, Riga. The three believe that the construction of “anti-mobility defensive installations” will significantly strengthen their borders, as well as deter and block any potential military aggression.

“In light of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, it is very important to continue our cooperation. The solidarity of the Baltic states must be stronger than ever,” said Arvydas Anusauskas, Defense Minister of Lithuania.

His Latvian counterpart Andris Spruds also announced the project:

Analysts from the US Institute for War Studies pointed out that Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently stepped up Kremlin initiatives that could provoke future escalations against the Baltic states.

“Russia’s war in Ukraine has shown that, in addition to equipment, ammunition and manpower, physical defensive installations on the border are also needed to defend Estonia from the first meter,” Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said.

He noted that the purpose of the defense installations is to prevent a military conflict in the region.

“We are making this effort so that the Estonian people can feel safe, but if the slightest risk emerged, we would be ready for various developments more quickly,” Pevkur added.

Estonian bunkers along the Russian border

As part of the “Baltic Defense Line”, Estonia will build hundreds of bunkers on the border with Russia.

Recognizing that no line of defense is impenetrable, the head of the operational department of the General Staff, Tarmo Kundla, said that the Ukrainian experience demonstrated the need to build concrete shelters and install them promptly, rather than creating them with earth and logs in a war situation. .

The concept of defensive installations is based on decisions taken at the NATO summit in Madrid, which emphasized that allies must be ready to defend territory and that new regional defense plans must be developed.

The construction process will be carried out in collaboration with local communities and with the agreement of landowners. The price of the Estonian defense structure is initially estimated at 60 million euros.

The first bunker will be completed in the first half of this year and the public will be able to see it in the second half of the year.

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