Fortifications and barbed wire: Ukraine strengthens its border with Belarus
Ukraine has started using money from a back-up fund to purchase barbed wire and other materials needed to strengthen parts of the Ukrainian border, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Smyhal said in the Ukrainian parliament on Dec. 17.
Over 50 kilometers of the border have already been fortified, the prime minister said.
“Work on areas that are potentially exposed to provocations from other states is in full swing,” Shmyhal said.
The prime minister added that there were plans to strengthen all of Ukraine borders under a specially designed government program.
The plan involves fortifying civilian infrastructure, border checkpoints and other border infrastructure, defending Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the prime minister said.
In late November Ukraine launched a special operation on its border with Belarus aimed at stopping illegal migrants from entering Ukraine.
The operation was a response to the migrant crisis that had erupted on the border between Belarus and Poland.
In fall, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia faced a rapidly growing number of migrants coming from Belarus. EU officials believe that the situation was engineered by Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko in retaliation against earlier sanctions imposed on his regime.
The sanctions were the EU’s response to Lukashenko alleged usurping of power in Belarus, and his violent reprisals against the political opposition in the country.
In response, Lukashenko said he would no longer “defend Europe from the flow of illegal migrants.”
The situation on the border between Poland and Belarus reached a critical point several weeks ago. Lukashenko’s regime organized passage for thousands of migrants to the border with Poland. The migrants later attempted to force their way across the border defenses.
Since the border crisis there has been talk in the EU of further sanctions against the Lukashenko regime. Meanwhile, Belarus’s neighbors are strengthening their border protections and increasing border troop numbers.
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