Latvia and Belarus sign border agreement

Other News Materials 6 November 2008 20:05 (UTC +04:00)

Latvia and Belarus formally demarcated their border Thursday in a signing ceremony in the Latvian capital, Riga, reported dpa.

The move officially sets part of the European Union's eastern border.

The final protocol of the Latvia-Belarus state border demarcation was signed by Irina Mangule of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Colonel Alexander Arhipov of the Belarus Border Guard. The ceremony ended a process that had gone on for more than ten years.

As part of the agreement, 417 border signs have been erected. Border infrastructure has also been upgraded with the help of EU funds.

Both sides said they were pleased the work had been completed and expressed hope that it would help with the economic development of some of Europe's poorest areas.

At the beginning of 2008, Latvia joined the EU's Schengen zone, which abolishes internal border controls. That made the 170-kilometre border on the EU's eastern edge of particular interest.