'Drone wall' against Russia: Six NATO countries announce border defense plan

Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Finland, and Norway are joining forces to build a 'drone wall' to protect their borders against Russia.

'Drone wall' against Russia: Six NATO countries announce border defense plan

Pilots of the "Sharp Kartuza" division of FPV kamikaze drones prepare drones for a combat flight on May 16, 2024 in the Kharkiv region, 8 km from the border with Russia.

Libkos | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Six NATO countries neighboring Russia are joining forces to build a "drone wall" to protect their borders, Lithuania's interior minister announced on Friday.

"This is a completely new thing, a drone wall stretching from Norway to Poland, and the goal is to use drones and other technologies to protect our borders," Lithuanian Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said in an interview with local news agency BNS.

"Not only with physical infrastructure, surveillance systems, but also with drones and other technologies, which would allow us to protect against provocations from unfriendly countries and to prevent smuggling," she said.

The other states taking part are Lithuania's Baltic neighbors Latvia and Estonia, as well as Poland, Finland, and Norway.

Details such as funding, timeline and technical aspects of the project were not provided, but Bilotaite said EU funds could play a role and that each country had to do its "homework."

In an interview with Finnish television channel Yle, cited by the Financial Times, Finland's Interior Minister Mari Rantanen said that the drone wall plan would "improve in time."

Finland, which joined NATO in 2023, shares an 832-mile border with Russia.

The interior ministers of the six countries taking part in the drone wall project met in the Latvian capital of Riga on May 23 and 24. They discussed security threats as well as the issue of non-military tactics such as "instrumentalized migration", citing past instances where Russia or Belarus sent masses of undocumented asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East over their borders.

"Our goal is to ensure that Finland has effective means to tackle situations where instrumentalized migration is used to put pressure on Finland," Rantanen said in a statement during the event.

"The phenomenon of instrumentalized migration on the EU's external borders is a common challenge for our countries. Finland also aims to find EU-level solutions to combat this phenomenon."