Construction of a fence on Lithuania's border with Russia's Kaliningrad exclave is expected to start next week.
State Border Guard Service
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

Under a 1.335-million-euro contract between the State Border Guard Service and Gintreja, a local company, the fence, which will cover 44.6 kilometers of border, is to be built by Dec. 20, 2017.

"If the manufacturer delivers the products as contracted, we will start on Monday. Preparatory work is already underway," Gintreja Director Gintaras Brokevicius told BNS.

The construction work will be launched on a 10-kilometer stretch in the district of Jurbarkas, he said.

Fencing will be supplied by a Lithuanian manufacturer that Brokevicius declined to name for commercial reasons. According to him, Gintreja received several offers from Russia to supply fencing at a similar price, but it chose the Lithuanian producer.

"There was high interest from manufacturers. We had an offer from Poles jointly with Danes and Belgians, but we opted for a Lithuanian company and signed a contract with the Lithuanians," the director said.

"We also had phone calls from Turkey and China, and offers from several Russian firms. It is easier to work with local people. The Poles who made the offer spoke only Polish. The prices were similar in the final stage and we chose (the Lithuanian offer) only because it was from a Lithuanian company. We consider ourselves patriots," he said.

The State Border Service has already set up technical surveillance systems along the entire state border with Kaliningrad that runs along the River Nemunas for around 109 kilometers. The two-meter-high metal fence with additional equipment will only be built on land stretches of the border.

Funds for the project have been allocated from Lithuania's state budget.

The authorities also plan to build a fence on Lithuania's border with Belarus by 2020. They say that the fences are, first of all, aimed at curbing smuggling and keeping illegal migrants out of the country.

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