previous image button
next image button
close fullscreen container

VNĪ: Solutions found to speed up border fence construction


State Joint-Stock Company “Valsts nekustamie īpašumi” (VNĪ) together with other institutions involved in the construction of the Latvian-Belarusian border protection infrastructure have come up with several solutions that will speed up the construction of the fence along the Latvian-Belarusian border, thus accelerating the previously set deadlines, informs Renārs Griškevičs, Chairman of the Board of VNĪ.

"The construction of border protection infrastructure on the Latvian-Belarusian border is VNĪ's most important project. Working close to the border, we see the importance of the fence that is already in place. Therefore, together with the other institutions involved, we have done a lot in a short time to mobilise resources and speed up the construction of the fence in the second phase sections," emphasises Griškevičs.

Most importantly, the priority order of the work to be carried out has been revised in the light of the real security situation in the region. In particular, the first priority during the summer construction season will be the construction of the fence itself on the border sections included in the second phase (63.9 km). This is a sufficient physical barrier to deter the activities of illegal border crossers, giving border guards additional time to deal with potential infringements.

The Chairman of the Board of VNĪ reminds that modern border protection infrastructure is being built on the Latvian-Belarusian border - not only a fence, but also patrol trails, footbridges and other objects suitable for the difficult terrain. Unlike in Lithuania, where a more extensive border improvement project started only this year, in Latvia both the fence and the border track are being built almost simultaneously, with very little time deviation. Major part (78%) of the fence has already been built in the first phase of works, which will be completed in autumn 2023, and all infrastructure will be complete by the end of the year. The second phase of work will involve the construction of the entire fence as soon as possible, with the border track completed by the end of 2024. 

The second phase involves deforestation of the entire 30.47 km of the national border. Additional deforestation is needed to create a patrol track  along nearly 29.77 km of public rivers. This will be possible as soon as the design of the infrastructure is finalised.

At the same time, as the project develops, the contractor "Citrus Solutions" is attracting additional subcontractors, including contractors from Latgale. The project currently involves 130 employees.  The workforce on site is sufficient to carry out work on all sections where land has already been deforested.

By 24 July, 67.10 km of fence had been constructed in the first phase of construction of the infrastructure that is necessary for border protection and its handover to the client (VNĪ) has started. In the second phase of works, site preparation has started, the 30.47 km of the national border has been fully deforested and design work is ongoing. In the third phase of construction or the Daugava works, the design of six communication towers with access roads is ongoing.

Construction of the border zone Latvia and Belarus covering the total distance of 173 km has been provided for within the project. The first phase of the fence 85.9 km long will be completed by early autumn 2023, while the second phase of 63.9 km and the third phase of ~16.7 km - by the end of 2024. The total cost of the first two phases of the border infrastructure construction is €102.7 million (including VAT) for construction and related services and works. The budget (construction, related services and works) for the six communication towers with access roads to be built as part of the third phase is estimated at around €3.6 million (including VAT). These are planned to be covered with the support of the EU funds. In parallel with the construction of the fence, preparatory work has started on equipping the fence with state-of-the-art technologies; the responsibility for the construction and implementation of the border's technological infrastructure has been entrusted to SJSC (VAS) “Latvijas Valsts radio un televīzijas centrs”.

Implementation of the Eastern Border Construction Project is supervised by the Outer Border Infrastructure Construction Supervisory Committee, which consists of representatives from the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economics, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, State Border Guard, Provision State Agency, SJSC (VAS) “Latvijas Valsts radio un televīzijas centrs”, JSC (AS) “Latvijas Valsts meži”, Latvian Geospatial Information Agency and the National Armed Forces.

Photo gallery from the Latvia - Belarus border area is available for viewing HERE.

For up-to-date information on construction works on the Latvian-Belarusian border, please visit VNĪ website.

VNĪ successfully implements 44 projects of national importance, 24 of which are under construction. The total implementation budget of the projects exceeds EUR 336 million.  VNĪ provides professional real estate management and maintenance for 371 building and structure properties, comprising 1007 buildings with a total area of 0.97 million m2, as well as land beneath structures with a total area of 607 ha, and 3404 land properties with a total area of 883 ha. VNĪ is one of 17 Latvian companies that received the highest platinum award in the Institute for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability's Sustainability Index 2023, demonstrating good governance and sustainability of its operations. The company was founded in 1996 and the Ministry of Finance is its sole shareholder.