RIGA - We will speak with the European Commission so that the additional EUR 200 million being allocated to Latvia, Lithuania and Poland for border protection in the current border crisis with Belarus could be used to build fencing, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) told Latvian Television this morning.
The Prime Minister said that there is a common understanding in Europe that Belarus is carrying out a hybrid attack, which is illegal and unacceptable. It is therefore important to protect both the countries affected by this situation and the common external border between the European Union and the Schengen area.
The distribution and purpose of the EUR 200 million allocated to Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in connection with the situation created by the Belarusian regime on their borders with Belarus is not yet known, Karins said, acknowledging that the European Commission has changed its position regarding the European Union's external border.
Karins explained that the specific goals for which the additional money could be allocated are not yet known, adding that border protection is not just about fencing, and equipment is also needed.
"I am convinced that we will be able to use these funds effectively. We will talk so that this money can be extended to the construction of fencing, which is an important instrument," said Karins.
However, neither the specific amount of funding for each country nor the time when it could be received is known.
As reported, an additional EUR 200 million will be available to Latvia, Lithuania and Poland from the European Union (EU) due to the situation created by the Belarusian regime on their borders with Belarus.
As LETA was informed by the European Commission (EC) Representation in Latvia, the EC is in dialogue with Latvia, Lithuania and Poland on the necessary financial and operational support and "makes available an additional EUR 200 million for border management".
However, the announcement does not specify whether or not this amount would be available for the construction of fencing at the border. According to Latvian Television, EU representatives point out that they will not pay for a fence.
The additional support could include rapid border interventions and return operations. This support would be provided by Frontex, the European Asylum Support Office for Migration Management and other bodies.
The statement reminds that since the beginning of the crisis on the border with Belarus, the EU had provided immediate support to Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in border management, providing emergency funding, as well as sending experts and providing assistance under the Civil Protection Mechanism.