The readiness of the project as of the end of May 2020 was estimated at 40% / Photo from UNIAN

Ukraine's State Border Guard Service denies reports by Russian border guards on an alleged halt to the construction of a walled defense system at the border with the Russian Federation under the Wall, also known as the European Rampart, project.

Spokesman for the Ukrainian Border Guard Service Andriy Demchenko said this in a comment for the RBC Ukraine news agency.

Read alsoUkraine keeps fortifying border with Russia – border guard agency chief

He said the Russians should be better concerned about border infrastructure on their side rather than about affairs of the neighboring state.

"The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine advises the Russian side to focus more on the reliable protection of its section of the border rather than worry about the construction of facilities along the border with the aggressor country. Work within the framework of the engineering development of the border continues," he said.

Demchenko recalled that within the framework of the project, it is not only about creating an anti-transport ditch or a metal barrier, but also the installation of surveillance equipment.

Russian allegations

Chief of the Russian border guards Vladimir Kulishov said in an interview for RIA Novosti that the implementation of Ukraine's Wall project was invisible from the Russian side.

"Last year, the Ukrainian side did not carry out active construction work, which is most likely due to insufficient financing of the project," Kulishov said.

Fate of the project

Chief of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Serhiy Deineko, said on May 5, 2021, the government continued works to fortify the country's border sections with Russia.

At the same time, Deineko said the project should not be referred to as "The Wall."

"There is no such project as 'The Wall.' The name has just stuck colloquially. Unfortunately, people associate 'The Wall' project only with some negative things," the chief border guard said.

The official added that, in his opinion, the wall should ensure 100% control over the border line.

"This is exactly the kind of engineering arrangement we're pursuing. We dig anti-tank ditches, arrange control strips, and belt roads, completing this all with a video surveillance system. That is, we build towers where we install CCTV cameras and thermal imagers, which provide 24/7 monitoring of the state border. This is the most effective system that allows completely eliminating any human factor," the official said.

Background

  • The Wall, or European Rampart, project is a walled defense system, which has been under construction since 2014 after the beginning of Russian aggression against Ukraine.
  • The scheduled end of the construction is 2025; its readiness was estimated at 40% as of the end of May 2020.
  • Some UAH 1.664 billion, or US$60.4 million, was allocated for the construction of the Wall in 2019-2020, but the actual costs amounted to UAH 800 million, or US$29.04 million, that is, less than half of the planned.