In one move which is expected to anger Moscow, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania agreed to build a defensive line in the Baltic in the coming years to strengthen the eastern borders with Belarus and Russia.

The agreement signed by the defense ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania provides for defense installations on their borders to deter and, if necessary, protect from military threats the Estonian Ministry of Defense announced on Friday.

The construction of defense facilities is a carefully considered project, the need for which stems from the current security situation. Russia’s war in Ukraine showed that, in addition to equipment, ammunition and manpower, border defense facilities are also needed to defend Estonia from the first measure, said Hano Pevkuri, Minister of Defense of Estonia.

He stressed that the purpose of the defense facilities is to prevent a military conflict in the region. “We undertake this effort so that the people of Estonia feel safe, but if the slightest danger arose, we would be ready for various developments faster,” Pevkur added.

The rationale for the new defense installations is based on decisions taken at the NATO Summit in Madrid, which underlined that Allies must be ready to defend the territory from the first measure and new regional defense plans must be developed. The concept combines prevention and on-site security measures.

Baltic defense ministers also signed a letter of intent for HIMARS multiple missile launchers, aimed at creating a framework for sharing the weapon system in both peacetime and wartime. The Defense Ministers of Estonia and Latvia also signed a cooperation agreement to conduct NATO air surveillance from Latvia’s Lielvarde Air Base.