Lithuania to Strengthen Protection of Sea & Land Borders With Russia & Belarus

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During her working visits to Klaipeda, Lithuanian Minister of Internal Affairs Agnฤ— Bilotaitฤ— underlined a strong commitment to strengthen national security by strengthening defence along the sea and the border with Russia.

In a bid to better protect the borders, starting from January 1 this year, the revitalised Coast Guard unit VSAT will undertake operations in the border region adjacent to the state borders with the Russian Federation and Latvia.

Their operational scope includes the territorial sea, coastal areas, seaports and airports within the designated area, including the Curonian Lagoon, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The protection of the maritime border has its specifics therefore we pay great attention to the training of the officers of the new unit, and the provision of modern work tools, modern equipment and monitoring systems.

Minister of Internal Affairs of Lithuania, Agnฤ— Bilotai

This strategic positioning aims to improve risk management, speed up responses to state border violations and improve coordination of search and rescue efforts during emergencies.

In addition, the Coast Guard border team will play a vital role in safeguarding key assets, notably the Klaipฤ—da liquefied natural gas (SDG) terminal within its protected jurisdiction. Considering the lessons from the conflict in Ukraine and the proximity to the Russian Federation, maintaining a swift and effective response to potential incidents at the SDG terminal is imperative.

The re-established nation will play a leading role in intensifying the fight against smuggling and illegal migration through the implementation of dedicated migration and criminal intelligence units.

To strengthen the protection of the state border at sea and in the Curonian Lagoon, advanced border monitoring systems have been deployed. These latest systems include radar equipment, thermal imaging equipment and day video cameras, with strong cooperation established with the Lithuanian military in the region.

Moreover, Lithuanian border guards are entrusted with safeguarding the extensive 119.65-kilometer Baltic Sea border. Initial plans involve the repair of over 100 km of the border patrol trail, and additional funding could extend these restoration efforts along another 253 km of the border shared with Belarus.

Through collaborative efforts between VSAT and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, an impressive 530 km of fencing and 360 km of concertina barriers have been installed along the Lithuanian-Belarusian border within the past year.

As a result, the entire expanse of the border with Belarus is now under the vigilant surveillance of modern border monitoring systems. This marks a significant improvement from the beginning of 2022 when only 53.3 per cent of the border with Belarus was monitored using such advanced systems.

Colonel Juozas Rinkevฤius has been officially appointed as commander of the revitalised Coast Guard Border Squad.

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