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Russia's Kaliningrad governor doubts Lithuania’s border fence will stop smuggling

June 06, 9:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On June 5, the Lithuanian authorities launched the construction of a fence along the 45-kilometer-long border with the Kaliningrad region

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MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. Russia’s Kaliningrad region is ready to supply construction materials to Lithuania for its undertaking to build a fence along the Russian-Lithuanian border to fight illegal migration and contraband, the acting governor of the enclave region told Rossiya 24 Television on Monday.

On Monday, the Lithuanian authorities launched the construction of a fence along the 45-kilometer-long border with the Kaliningrad region. Interior Minister Eimutis Misiunas said the aim is to protect economic interests of the country and step up fight against contraband and illegal migration.

"We are producing metal in sufficient amounts... If the colleagues see some shortage of materials, be it bricks or ironware, please, you are welcome, we will be glad to help our neighbors," Anton Alikhanov said.

The acting governor welcomed Lithuania’s bid to fight contraband, but said he doubted the fence will be efficient "given sophisticated methods of this activity in the recent years". "We would not want to see this activity limited to one symbolic fence, but we would want that they (the Lithuanian authorities) install some technical surveillance means," he went on.

He said the fence under construction will not pose any inconveniences to the Kaliningrad region as two border crossing points are operating stably. "We look to the development of good-neighborly relations with our neighbors, that is why we on our part would not like to see any special meanings and signs in this," Alikhanov said.

Lithuania will build a two-meter-high wire fence on the land section of the border with the Kaliningrad region with additional means of electronic control. Construction work, that is expected to be finished by the end of the year, is estimated at 1.335 million euros. Lithuania’s next plans are to build a fence on the border with Belarus.

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