VILNIUS – Lithuania's first countermobility park was opened on Friday in Mickunai, Vilnius District, where various devices used to stop the movement of potential enemies will be stored.
Laurynas Kasciunas, chairman of the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defense, told reporters there are plans to open a total of 18 such parks across the country by the summer of 2024 at a total cost of 18 million euros.
The Vilnius park now stores several Czech hedgehogs, reinforced concrete blocks and tetrahedrons, and concertina coils. They are designed to create an additional defensive countermobility effect along Lithuania's border with Russia and Belarus.
Major Mindaugas Gvildys told reporters that the park should contain up to 120 of each of these defense measures.
"Metal prefabricated hedgehogs will be stored in containers for further assembly. A single soldier can assemble such a hedgehog if required. It is designed to be used against transport, both military and non-military. The park will also house concrete tetrahedrons, otherwise known as dragon's teeth, and other concrete and reinforced concrete structures," Gvildys told reporters, adding that such instruments can be transported from one park within a radius of 20 square kilometers.
For his part, Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas says the procurement of mines to add supplement these countermobility assets has already started.
"Next year, I think, a majority of these acquisitions will be done," the minister said.
He refrained to ay where and how big the other parks would be.
"We are already going into the details, and a pilot park is being presented here. (...) All the details, when we start detailing the army's actions, are usually not disclosed to the public. You have seen one park, and maybe we won't see the others in so much detail," Anusauskas said.
The new countermobility park is located within the territory of the State Border Guard Service's Vilnius Frontier District. Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite says this is an example of close cooperation between the army and border service.
"We must continue moving on this path as the SBGS is part of the armed forces, and, therefore, exercises are a very important component, which are regularly taking place, and these parks are a new component. In view of the new parks, we will also strengthen our cooperation so that all processes run smoothly," Bilotaite said.
In addition to these parks, Lithuania also plans other measures to strengthen the countermobility effect, such as the creation of tree-lined avenues and the deepening of drainage ditches.