Project Wall on Ukrainian-Russian border to be completed before 2018

Ukraine has already spent 160 million hryvni ($7.7 million) on implementing its European Wall project which aims to reinforce the Ukrainian-Russian border with a wall, Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said.

Ukraine has already spent 160 million hryvni ($7.7 million) on implementing its European Wall project which aims to reinforce the Ukrainian-Russian border with a wall, Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said.

"All in all, we've spent 160 million hryvni ($7.7 million) which Ukraine received as technical assistance," he told reporters during a visit to the international checkpoint in Senkivka, Chernihiv region.

The project costs in total 4 billion hryvni ($192.8 million), including 2 billion hryvni ($96.4 million) that will be used to buy electronic tracking and monitoring systems, and 1.5 billion hryvni ($72.3 million) for the construction work, the prime minister said

The project pursues two goals: to guarantee security "from infiltration by Russian saboteurs" and the economic aspect, i.e. to create jobs and support the domestic manufacturer, Yatseniuk stressed.

Project Wall is to be completed over four years, the prime minister said. "The whole Ukrainian-Russian border will be built before 2018," he added.

Initially the project cost $1 billion but after consultations with foreign partners another version was approved that is four times cheaper, the premier said.

A key feature of the new project is a bet on installing electronic border-monitoring systems, metal fences will be put up around checkpoints only.

This will allow to protect checkpoints from surroundings and to prevent bypassing of checkpoints by border crossers, says Viktor Nazarenko, the head of Ukraine's State Border Guard Service.

For his part, Col. Ihor Poludenko, Director of the state enterprise "Directorate for Construction and Maintenance of the Ukrainian border infrastructure," said that a further 300 million hryvni ($14.46 million) are expected to be spent under the Wall Project before the end of 2015.

"An extra 300 million hryvni ($14.46 million) are due to be allocated before the end of 2015," Poludenko told reporters at the Senkivka checkpoint during the prime minister's visit there.

This money will be used to equip 385.7 kilometers (240 miles) of the border with anti-tank structures, 90 kilometers with metal fences, as well as 214 kilometers (133 miles) of the intrusion detection strip, 214.5 kilometers of rocade roads, as well as seven outposts, Poludenko said.

Ukraine has already built 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) of anti-tanks structures, 82 kilometers (51 miles) of rocade roads, 412 kilometers (256 miles) of intrusion detection strips and 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) of metal fences since the project began in 2014. It also installed 49 observation towers along the national border in Sumy, Chernihiv and Kharkiv regions, Poludenko said.

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