Military Review

Will the Great Wall save Latvia? Why build a fence on the border with Russia and Belarus?

Recently, representatives of the Latvian leadership announced their intention to build a wall on the border between Latvia and Belarus. Prior to this, the construction of the wall began on the border of Latvia with the Russian Federation. Latvia connects the strengthening of the border strip with the need to ensure the security of the country from the influx of illegal immigrants and refugees from the countries of the Middle East and East Asia, who allegedly en masse into the country from the territory of Russia and Belarus. The head of the State Border Guard of Latvia, Normund Garbars, told reporters that the budget of Latvia has already included the funds that are planned to be allocated for the improvement of the border.

Recall that the borders of Latvia and Belarus, like Latvia and Russia, are in many ways artificial. For a long time, these territories were part of a single state - the Russian Empire, then, after the short-term existence of independent Latvia, the Soviet Union. There are still developed social and economic ties between the inhabitants of the border settlements. Many relatives live on the other side of the border, and this is not to mention the fact that goods are constantly exchanged. Since Belarus is relatively low, by Latvian standards, prices, many residents of the border areas of Latvia come to Belarus for shopping. First of all, the Latvians fill their cars in Belarus with gasoline or diesel fuel, since the fuel here is cheaper than in Latvia. Secondly, in Belarus they buy cheaper sugar, bread, beauty products, clothes and shoes. It turns out that the tightening of border control on the Latvian-Belarusian border will only complicate life for the population of the same Latvia.

The construction of the wall on the border with Russia Latvia does not carry out its own funds. A poor Baltic country simply would not have enough money to implement such a large-scale project. To strengthen the border of the republic, the leadership of the European Union allocated additional funds. All in all, it is planned to spend 17 million euros for the Russian section of the Latvian border in four years alone.

As for the border with Belarus, the wall in this section of Latvia will have to be paid independently. Most likely, the relative slowness of the Latvian authorities in matters of preparation for construction is connected with this circumstance. So far, Riga is only going to start buying out land plots along the border, and this stage will take, according to representatives of the Latvian authorities, at least 5-6 years. Even with the most optimal scenario, the construction of the wall on the purchased areas will begin no earlier than a year later. Recall that the border of Latvia with Belarus is 173 kilometers, respectively, the construction of the wall and the organization of engineering and technical means of protection around the perimeter of the border will also cost the Latvian budget a very serious amount. However, the Latvian leadership has nowhere to go - in Riga they are very worried about the increasing flow of illegal migrants and refugees from the Third World countries.

Will the Great Wall save Latvia? Why build a fence on the border with Russia and Belarus?

Back in March, 2016, the first three kilometers of a fence with a height of 2,7 meters, were built on the border of Latvia and Russia - on the site for which the Ludza Border Guard Department is responsible. In general, four years were allotted for the construction of the “Great Wall of Latvia” on the border with Russia. During this time, the wall should be erected along the entire length of the Latvian-Russian border. At the same time, the Latvian authorities specifically made a reservation that they are not fencing off from Russia, but from illegal migrants. In 2015 alone, no less than 500 illegal immigrants from the countries of the Middle East and East Asia tried to penetrate into the territory of Latvia. Three hundred of them were citizens of Vietnam.

For migrants, Latvia is not a goal, but a “means”, a transit country on the way to more desirable and prosperous countries of the European Union, first of all - Germany. It is in Germany that the main stream of illegal migrants is traveling through the Russian-Latvian and Belarusian-Latvian borders. As in the case of the Mediterranean and Balkan routes of illegal migration, organized criminal groups “work” on the Baltic route, organizing the delivery of illegal migrants and their transfer across the border for money. Of course, the scale of migrants entering Latvia is not comparable with what is happening off the coast of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea or in the countries of the Balkan Peninsula. But for small Latvia, the number of migrants arriving annually in the country is a big problem. The Latvian authorities are in fact unable to solve it, and therefore they are starting to build the wall, while the officials of the migration service and the border guard themselves point out that those who want to enter Latvia will find a way to cross the border facilities.

Experts doubt that the Great Wall of Latvia will in fact be able to protect the country from the flow of illegal migrants or from smugglers who smuggle prohibited goods across the border. The fact is that the wall is not solid. Considering the financial difficulties of Latvia, the country decided to refuse to build a wall where it would be necessary to carry out some large-scale landscape changes, for example, to drain the swamps. Also, 100-meter walkways are provided through every kilometer of the wall so that wild animals can pass through the border. But after all, the same migrants or smugglers can use these passages, not to mention the fact that there is no problem for them and to force the swamps. On the Mediterranean route, migrants in boats cross the sea for a day, getting from Libya and Tunisia to Italy, and crossing the marsh into Latvian territory will be an easy task for them.

According to many journalists and experts, the construction of the wall is rather an attempt by the Latvian authorities to receive additional funding from the European Union. When the EU leadership established quotas for the accommodation of refugees in the EU countries, the Baltic republics also could not stay away from the execution of this decision, although Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, following other Eastern European countries, tried to resist the establishment of quotas and argued that for them the admission of migrants can become a financially and socially unbearable task. But in Brussels were adamant. In 2015, Latvia was asked to accept and place on its territory 531 refugees from Eritrea and Syria. This caused a very negative reaction from Latvian citizens. In Latvia, everyone has heard about the situation of refugees and migrants in Western Europe. Latvians fear that visitors will not work, and the state will spend a lot of money on social benefits. In addition, high fertility in the families of immigrants from Africa and the countries of the Middle East causes great concern.

Many citizens worry that the arrival and accommodation of a large number of refugees will lead to an increase in crime. Latvians suspect that the European Union specifically begins with the “insignificant” number in 531 of a person, and then makes Latvia accommodate several tens of thousands of African and Asian refugees and migrants, and Riga will not be able to do anything with this requirement. The authorities of the country for a long time tried to refuse to accept migrants, but in the end, the Latvian government, which was in serious financial dependence on the European Union, was forced to cede to Brussels. In 2016, Latvia agreed to host several hundred refugees from countries in East Africa and the Middle East. In February, 2016 arrived in Latvia with the first refugees from Eritrea. Their accommodation was provided in the village of Mutsenieki, which is in 20 kilometers from the Latvian capital Riga. The construction of the refugee accommodation center and their arrangement cost the Latvian budget 3,1 million euros.

But the refugees themselves are not eager to settle in the territory of Latvia, as, indeed, other Baltic and Eastern European states. This is quite understandable. The economic situation in Latvia currently does not allow for employment of its own population, which leads to the mass migration of Latvian citizens abroad, primarily to the UK. Little Latvia can not provide refugees and social benefits that exist in the more prosperous countries of Europe. The refugees themselves understand this perfectly well and do not want to go to Latvia or other Baltic countries. Those of them already on the territory of the country plan to move to other EU countries in the near future.

During the year, Latvia pays each foreigner who has received refugee status a social benefit in the amount of 139 euros per month. In addition, each member of the refugee family also relies on Euro 97 per person. The refugees themselves complain that it is impossible to live on this money in Latvia. In August 2016, they even organized a rally at the refugee accommodation center in the village of Mutsenieki. Refugees complain about the lack of work, the meager dimensions of benefits and the lack of attention of the Latvian authorities to the problems of their settlement. By the way, the lack of work for refugees is also explained by the consequences of the nationalist policy of Latvia. In the 1990s, when Latvia most feared the large Russian community of the republic, a number of blatant discriminatory laws were passed against the Russian-speaking population. What is one status of "non-citizens"! In order to prevent the possibility of vertical mobility for the Russian-speaking population and, if possible, to survive as many Russian-speaking “non-citizens” as possible from the country, the Latvian authorities have banned employment of people who do not speak the Latvian language in the public service. After this decision, a person who does not speak Latvian, has lost the opportunity to get even the lowest positions, even the janitors or security guards. Now, when refugees from the countries of the Middle East and Africa began to arrive in Latvia, the Latvian authorities have become hostages of their own national policy. Refugees do not speak the Latvian language, and even those who would like to get a job and somehow settle in Latvia cannot do it. Accordingly, the Latvian authorities have to spend money on the payment of social benefits, on food and accommodation of refugees in a specially equipped center. But if now Riga is still able to pay these expenses, what will happen if the European Union decides to increase the quota for refugee accommodation and really require Latvia to accept several thousand people?

At the same time, no less anxiety of the authorities of the country is caused by the arrival in Latvia of illegal migrants. The latter view Latvia as a transit lane en route to Poland and further to Germany or the Scandinavian countries, therefore they are not going to settle on Latvian territory. But finding a large number of illegal immigrants in the country itself is dangerous, primarily from the point of view of ensuring the security of the state and its citizens. In addition, it is possible that if illegal immigrants are then detained in Western European countries, they will be deported to the country from which they came - that is, to Latvia. Thus, thanks to illegal migrants, the Latvian authorities may be faced with the need to place a much larger number of foreigners than required by the quotas adopted by the European Union. Apparently, it is precisely these fears that underlie the desire of the Latvian authorities to tighten control over the borders with Russia and Belarus.

On the other hand, the construction of the wall is also due to considerations of the militaristic populism of the Latvian authorities. Riga is constantly trying to present Latvia as a potential victim of the mythical Russian aggression. Latvian politicians and military leaders of the highest level regularly speak of a “possible threat of a Russian invasion,” that Russia is going to “annex the Baltic States” again, and so on. The basis of this mythology is the desire to receive additional financial resources from the European Union and from NATO, as well as to support panic moods in the country, distracting the population from large-scale socio-economic problems. Instead of improving the Latvian economy, the plight of which led to the fact that hundreds of thousands of people left the country, the Latvian authorities are asking the “senior partners” more and more to strengthen the “defense and security of the Latvian state”, including on the construction of the border wall.

By the way, the beginning of the construction of the wall on the border with Russia was announced by the Estonian government. Of course, like Riga, Tallinn expects that the cost of building the wall will be covered by the European Union. Estonian authorities report that the wall will have a length of 108 kilometers and a height of 2,5 meters. As you can see, this is a smaller construction than what is planned in Latvia, but the Estonian wall will cost the European Union 71 million euros. As in the case of Latvia, Estonia does not plan to carry out major work to change the landscape - where there are swamps on the border, they simply will not build a wall. In addition, the wall is equipped with video cameras and other engineering and technical means of protection. Tallinn promises to complete the construction of the wall by 2020. However, as in the case of Latvia, everything depends on how soon the European Union is going to allocate large funds for strengthening the borders of the Baltic republics. While Brussels with the release of money is in no hurry.
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  1. Skeptic Self-Taught
    Skeptic Self-Taught 18 November 2016 15: 21
    And let's generally enclose the entire Baltic region with a fence, and let the current go ... Let them sit at their fence like animals in a zoo ...
    Civilians, their mother so ...
    All my life the Baltic dream of being a serf and a strong master ...
    But the master is changing ... and back to Russia - well, no ...
    1. Teberii
      Teberii 18 November 2016 15: 27
      Part of the Latvian have already fled to EU countries, they are afraid that others will flee to Russia or Belarus.
    2. vovanpain
      vovanpain 18 November 2016 16: 32
      Currently, the economic situation in Latvia does not allow providing its own population with jobs, which leads to mass migration of Latvian citizens abroad, primarily to the UK.

      Yes, not only in Latvia, in all the Baltic states their own population is scattering wherever they can. winked
      1. sergeybulkin
        sergeybulkin 19 November 2016 00: 54
        the construction of the wall is rather an attempt by the Latvian authorities to receive additional funding from the European Union

        I don’t think they’re completely idiots. 4 lemons of euros to spend on an unnecessary, useless fence. It will be like in cocokland - they will build a couple of tens of kilometers, and the remaining money will be stolen. The usual thing. tongue
        1. Asadullah
          Asadullah 20 November 2016 16: 03
          I don’t think they’re completely idiots. 4 lemons of euros to spend on an unnecessary, useless fence. It will be like in cocokland - they will build a couple of tens of kilometers, and the remaining money will be stolen. The usual thing. tongue

          In Latvia it is not so easy to steal. She is under the supervision of the IMF and the mentality of Latvians, such as to say it, is not that they are honest, just imagine a gudgeon, he will swallow a worm, and which frog is no longer there laughing They build because they gave money for it. But this is a project, geodesy, work for builders, environmental expertise and related projects. At least some kind of economic activity. Here they raised the issue of economics, since the entire Baltic economy is based on the use of EU structural funds, only Estonia stands out for its more positive dynamics. In 2020, from the recipients, the Baltic countries should become donors, then a full furry Siberian animal will come ..... though they have hopes that the terms will be extended.
  2. Monarchist
    Monarchist 18 November 2016 15: 50
    I thought only Yaytsenyukh rushed with the idea of ​​building a wall, but it turns out a bad example is contagious. Okay, Senya Yaytsenyuh is especially gifted, but the Baltic states are Europe!
    1. Egoza
      Egoza 18 November 2016 19: 08
      Quote: Monarchist
      I thought only Yaytsenyukh rushed with the idea of ​​building a wall, but it turns out a bad example is contagious.

      and what? I built it .... and so-a-k earned on it .... only that "wall" is all in holes due to the migration of wild boars. So the Balts were scared that from them, but not only the population, but all the living creatures would flee to Russia.
  3. LÄRZ
    LÄRZ 18 November 2016 16: 02
    And what, normal "entertainment" for our Yunarmeytsy. Himself overcame the fences, carrying out an illegal invasion of someone else's garden. Or to the PMK garage for gasoline for a motorcycle. Le-ta-ta !! good laughing
  4. Pete mitchell
    Pete mitchell 18 November 2016 16: 22
    Do not tell me please, another defamation of the public and a cut of finances. Just a brilliant fence, with passages for animals, God forgive bastards. More than half a million were dumped in Europe, and they are all fighting the mills. Probably only to "military" "specialists" from countries 371 & 372 the wall seems like a modern fortification, clowns ...
    The most reliable protection against refugees is to be a dead end in Europe, in everything, a broken economy and a common border that is reliably guarded by Russia. For the sake of fairness, it should be noted that several refugee families settled in Kauguri are quietly cramming Latvian and thinking about how to arrange life, but most are waiting for refugee status and "suitcase, train station, germany". And the story of how Latavia selected refugees - it was generally a circus.
    Wonderful things are your Lord
  5. volodya
    volodya 18 November 2016 16: 22
    Only one thing will save them, that nobody needs them! We would sit on their farms on the priest exactly!
  6. igordok
    igordok 18 November 2016 16: 30
    I just want to remind you about the "Mound of Friendship". Border of Belarus, Latvia and Russia.
    Now, "friendship" looks like this.
  7. Sidel45
    Sidel45 18 November 2016 17: 27
    I don’t understand why so many screams and screams around these walls at the borders? If there is money, let’s build it for us - what is it? I remember, under the Soviets, the state border with foreign countries was fully equipped with several rows of barbed wire, engineering structures (including a control and track strip (KSP), and subtle obstacles (MZP) ), technical security equipment (TCO), radar and searchlight armament, optical and optoelectronic surveillance equipment, and this did not surprise anyone, nor indignant, and the adversaries now put only a three-meter wall of etki netting and much yelling. So what? Who's supposed to, and through the netting crawl through. And maybe through ...
  8. knn54
    knn54 18 November 2016 17: 54
    Hide behind a high fence "Europe", I will steal along with the fence.
    PS Russia and Belarus will save the fence from aflora in the foreseeable future ...
    BABA SHURA 18 November 2016 21: 09
    But what about the migration of moose and wild boars now? They put a fence for their own, so as not to run away.
  10. Roman96
    Roman96 18 November 2016 22: 50
    [/ quote] Why is a fence being built on the border with Russia and Belarus? [quote]
    Around the madhouse always build fences laughing
  11. rus-5819
    rus-5819 18 November 2016 23: 27
    Latvia connects the strengthening of the border strip with the need to ensure the country's security from the influx of illegal immigrants and refugees from the countries of the Middle East and East Asia,
    Yes Yes! The migrants "flooded in", were horrified and fled further to Europe, taking with them the locals for mass.
  12. Anglorussian
    Anglorussian 19 November 2016 04: 57
    It is more likely for smugglers to complicate their lives.
  13. Alex_Tug
    Alex_Tug 20 November 2016 11: 41
    The funny thing is that the border between Latvia and Russia is not demarcated (the document has not been ratified). They have claims to Putilovsky district of the Pskov region. Can put up a fence and ratify.
  14. Berkut752
    Berkut752 20 November 2016 14: 23
    But I’m happy for the Baltic states, so what if there is no money and the industry has collapsed, maybe they’ll put up a fence.
    Europe reduced handouts, well, well, more citizens will flee to Geyropa and not only Africans (not citizens), but most importantly their own. And as soon as they stop paying handouts, there will be no people left at all, you can offer a stranger to Russia, what the hell is not joking, and suddenly they will agree for 30 pieces of silver. True, in the Baltic, the water became dirty, and the ports by that time would completely fall apart, but the main thing is freedom, democracy.
  15. Swed
    Swed 20 November 2016 15: 57
    Woke up late with their wall. Local who could have fled long ago, and only the "knocked" ones will run to them.
  16. Hannibal Lecter
    Hannibal Lecter 20 November 2016 19: 21
    Well done what. They do what we needed to do. Ukrainians just started and did not finish building. Can their haz somehow stimulate the construction of a fence between us?