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Lithuania Plans To Build Fence Along Border With Russia's Kaliningrad

Lithuania says it will start construction on a 129-kilometer fence on its border with Kaliningrad, the Russian exclave bordering the NATO-member nation.

The interior minister for the Baltic state said on January 17 that the barrier will be 2.5 meters high and feature electronic surveillance systems and drones. The fence, at an estimated cost of $3.85 million, is scheduled to be completed by the end 2017.

The minister, Eimutis Misiunas, acknowledged that the fence would not provide much defense against a massive military assault but said it underscored his country’s concerns about an increasingly assertive Russia, which stations thousands of troops and military equipment in the oblast.

EU-member Lithuania also characterized the move as a way to reduce smuggling.

"We have to prevent smuggling and strengthen the external borders of the European Union. We understand well what is going on in the Russian exclave," Misiunas told AP.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters