The electric fence with barbed wire and mines will be 2,000 kilometres in length and cost around €100 million. The project will be financed mainly by EU taxpayers’ money
This article originally appeared at German Economic News. Translated for RI by Anita Zalaldinova
In early April Ukraine will begin to build a wall on the border with Russia. Construction is expected to extend in particular to Kharkiv and Lugansk. Lugansk is a rebel-held city. The construction work could lead to a new escalation in eastern Ukraine. Funds for the construction of the wall come from European taxpayers.
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine will start the construction works of a wall along the Ukrainian–Russian border in early April. This concerns in particular the areas of Kharkiv and Lugansk. It was announced by the Chief of the State Border Guard, Oleh Slobodian, on Saturday at a press conference in Kiev, the news agency Ukrinform reports. However, it is unclear how the construction in the Lugansk region will be carried out, as the area is controlled by rebels. If the construction work in Lugansk were really to begin, this would automatically lead to a renewed escalation.
In September 2014 the Ukrainian interim Prime Minister Arseny “Jaz” Yatsenyuk announced plans to build a wall after the Berlin model on the border with Russia. Only in this way could a truly national border be created, said Yatsenyuk. The electric fence with barbed wire and mines will be 2,000 kilometres in length and cost around €100 million. The project will be financed mainly by EU taxpayers’ money.
Following a request from the German Economic News, a spokesperson for the EU External Action Service, Maja Kocijancic, stated that the EU is providing the funds for the construction of the wall. However, since the expenses are not earmarked, the EU cannot prevent this money from being used for the construction of border fortifications: “The EU supports integrated border management in Ukraine, in particular through budget aid worth €60 million. The payouts [...] are uncommitted. The amount of the new payment is not yet known. This program was approved in 2010. The financing agreement was signed in 2011. That “Wall” project was not part of the conditionality.”