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Baltic Nations to Build Defense Network Along Borders With Russia, Belarus

NATO exercises in Estonia. NATO / flickr

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have agreed to build a series of bunkers on their borders with Russia and Belarus to defend against their militaries in the event of an attack, Estonia’s Defense Ministry announced Friday.

The three NATO and EU members signed an agreement on the construction of “anti-mobility defensive installations” in the coming years.

“The Baltic countries are one area of operations, and therefore defense installations will be built in coordination with Latvia and Lithuania,” Estonia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said Russia's invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated the need for “physical defensive installations on the border” in addition to equipment, ammunition, and manpower.

The ministry estimates that Estonia alone will build around 600 concrete bunkers, valued at 60 million euros ($65 million), on its side of the border with Russia, according to the Estonian daily Postimees.

Sketches provided by the Defense Ministry showed a rectangular bunker being fitted inside a T-shaped trench and camouflaged by foliage.

The ministry said it will cooperate with local communities and seek agreements from landowners in the building process.

“In peacetime, no explosives, cutting wires or other obstacles are placed on the border of Estonia. Instead, a network of bunkers, support points and distribution lines is established,” it said.

The announcement comes as senior NATO commanders warned that an all-out war with Russia could break out in the near future, with German officials speculating that such a conflict could emerge as soon as five years. 

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