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Baltic states build fortifications on the border with Russia

Apr 18, 2024

Estonia will significantly strengthen NATO's eastern border with Russia. Hundreds of reinforced bunkers will be built as part of a new defense line to protect the Baltic states - and, by extension, the entire Western defense alliance - from Russian attack.

This was reported by the Financial Times.


To the south, Lithuania is opening more than a dozen so-called anti-mobility parks, such as anti-tank barriers, barbed wire, and concrete blocks, which are designed to slow down potential invaders. Latvia, like the other two Baltic states, and Finland have also installed fences on their borders with Russia and Belarus.

According to the newspaper, these works are a clear sign that security in NATO's frontline states is now determined by Russia's war in Ukraine. Last summer, Russian troops prevented a counteroffensive by Kyiv and regained the initiative on the battlefield. The leaders of the Baltic states, who saw Russia's defeat in Ukraine as the best way to guarantee their security, now see the tide of war turning in Moscow's direction.

Recent months have brought a flurry of warnings about a possible Russian attack on NATO within the next decade. The alarm has come not only from Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn, but also from ministers in Stockholm, Berlin, and London, who foresee a possible confrontation within two to eight years.

Regional leaders see the three Baltic states – with their small territories and narrow land links to the rest of NATO – as a place where a bolder Putin might try to test the alliance's unity and resolve through destabilizing provocations or even direct military attack.

These fears are exacerbated by the prospect of Donald Trump returning to the White House after the November presidential election, raising serious questions about the US commitment to European security at a time when few officials or analysts believe Europe can defend itself.

Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 18/04/2024

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