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NATO states want ‘drone wall’ along Russian border

The defense effort should be funded by the EU, Lithuanian Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite has said

The interior ministers of the Baltic states, Poland, Norway and Finland have agreed on the creation of a single, so-called “drone wall” defense system along their collective borders with Russia and Belarus.

The NATO states’ ministers met in Riga this week, discussing ways to coordinate their security measures as tensions with Russia escalate.

“We see constant efforts” from Russia and Belarus to “destabilize our countries’ internal security and public order, to create panic and distrust in institutions,” Lithuanian Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said in a press release on Friday, accusing both of “weaponizing migration, cyber-attacks, disinformation, sabotage of critical infrastructure and other hybrid threats.”

Therefore, “we need to think about evacuating the population on a regional scale, as well as securing the EU’s external borders with drones,” Bilotaite stated.

The proposed “drone wall stretching from Norway to Poland,” would protect their borders not “only with physical infrastructure, surveillance systems, but also with drones and other technologies,” Bilotaite told the Baltic News Agency. She also proposed to organize joint mass evacuation drills at a regional level.

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Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
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Despite Norway not being a member of the European Union, the ministers agreed to explore the possibility of funding joint defense efforts from European Union funding sources, the press release said. The ministers were invited for a future meeting on September 6 later this year.

Last month, Lithuania’s parliament pledged to ramp their defense spending to 3% of the country’s total GDP as part of their NATO role. Members of the US-led military bloc have set a military spending target of at least 2% of GDP, but some have not met the goal.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
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Earlier this year, NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg announced that the bloc’s members were “coming together with a goal of delivering 1 million drones to Ukraine.” The member states need to shift from peacetime to a high tempo of production of these armaments, he said.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that Western arms deliveries only prolong the Ukraine conflict. It maintains that the crisis was sparked by the expansion of NATO towards Russian borders, which it views as an existential threat. President Vladimir Putin has also repeatedly stated that Russia “has no interest … geopolitically, economically or militarily” in attacking NATO, and dismissed Western fearmongering as attempts to scare their citizens into funding the military industrial complex.

May 26, 2024 at 08:46AM

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