RIGA - The Baltic states' decision to build the Baltic Defense Line is the right step, but this will not be an inexpensive project, Latvia's former defense chief Raimonds Graube believes.
The decision to develop the Baltic Defense Line is the right and commendable step. This project will not be inexpensive, but it will significantly hamper Russia's potential movements in Latvia, Graube said.
Although there have been prominent examples in history of countries building strong fortifications, such as the Maginot Line in France, Graube pointed out that the planned Baltic Defense Line is not comparable to fortifications of this level.
"In the Baltic case, it is about anti-mobility measures and how to better organize the defense. Exactly how this line will be designed depends on many factors. Natural conditions are very different in Estonia and Latvia, so bunker defense systems will differ across various places," Graube stressed.
In Graube's view, the line design needs to be very seriously and thoroughly studied, as the various engineering structures will require additional research.
"Reinforced concrete bunkers, machine-gun nests or places prepared for artillery systems - it is all a complex issue. It depends on which section of the border is in question. Of course, nobody is going to build engineering structures in the middle of a forest or on the edge of a swamp to stop armored vehicles," Graube said, adding that it would take several years to complete the structures.
As reported, last Friday, the defense ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia signed an agreement on the establishment of a Baltic defense line to strengthen the eastern border of the Baltic States and NATO.
The plan foresees the future development and deployment of various anti-mobility measures along the external borders of NATO and the European Union to deter and block any potential military aggression against the Baltic states by an aggressor power.