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Baltic states to build new defences on Russia, Belarus borders

The three Baltic states on Friday agreed to build new defences on their borders with Belarus and Russia, given security concerns in the region over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s aggression in the region has sparked concern in the Baltic states that they could be next on Moscow’s agenda were it to win in Ukraine. “The ministers signed an agreement in Riga, according to which Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will construct anti-mobility defensive installations in the coming years to deter and, if necessary, defend against military threats,” the Estonian defence ministry said in a statement. It added that the installations would be on the borders with Russia and Belarus. Latvia and Lithuania border both countries while Estonia only borders Russia. The statement did not provide details on the installations. The Baltic states — all former Soviet republics and now members of NATO and the European Union — have been staunch supporters of Ukraine from day one of the invasion nearly two years ago. “Russia’s war in Ukraine has shown that, in addition to equipment, ammunition, and manpower, physical defensive installations on the border are also needed,” Estonian Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur said, quoted in the statement. His Latvian counterpart Andris Spruds also announced the project. “We will establish the Baltic Defence Line to defend NATO’s Eastern flank and deny freedom of movement for our adversaries,” he said on X, formerly Twitter.

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