NATO countries plan a ‘drone wall’ to protect the border with Russia

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Six NATO countries are planning to develop a “drone wall” to help protect their borders with Russia after a series of provocations, from forced migration to attempts to modify the border.

The ministers of Finland, Norway, Poland and the three Baltic states said at the weekend that they had discussed creating a coordinated drone system along their borders with Russia to prevent smuggling and other provocations, and to support defense.

“This is something completely new – a drone wall stretching from Norway to Poland – and the goal is to use drones and other technologies to protect our borders . . . counter provocations from unfriendly countries and prevent smuggling,” Lithuanian Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė told Baltic News Service.

All six countries have faced so-called hybrid attacks – non-military measures tend to be denied – from Russia in recent months and years, including against asylum seekers Undocumented refugees from Africa and the Middle East. sent across their borders.

Mari Rantanen, Finland’s Interior Minister, told Yle television that plans to build a wall using drones would “improve in time” and could help protect the Nordic country’s 1,340km border. This is with Russia.

Details on when and how the drone wall will operate were not provided. Bilotaitė said each country needed to do its “homework” and suggested that EU funds could also be used.

Map showing the locations of countries in Eastern and Northern Europe

Frontline NATO nations have stepped up warnings about Russia’s intentions following Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and the country’s subsequent shift of its economy to a state of war.

Ministry of Defense of Russia announced the draft proposal last week on its website about unilaterally expanding maritime borders with Lithuania and Finland, before scrapping the plan.

A day later, Russian border guards removed 25 buoys from Estonian waters that were marking the border, sparking outrage and messages of support for Tallinn from NATO and several member states.

Many NATO countries believe that Russia could test NATO’s borders within the next five to 10 years, while intelligence agencies have detected a number of putative sabotage activities on their territory.

Russia’s war against Ukraine has highlighted the importance of drones, with both sides using them in attacks. Several NATO countries have responded by establishing or strengthening their drone combat units.

The six NATO countries also discussed at the meeting plans to evacuate most of their populations in the event of conflict. Finnish officials, for example, have expressed surprise that Ukraine kept its civilians on or near the front lines, saying that the Nordic country’s defense plans involve evacuating civilians. residing at the border.


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