Ukraine Delayed The Construction Of A "Wall" On The Border With Russia Until 2025
Ukraine has postponed to 2025 the completion of a project for the construction of fortifications and security systems on the Russian-Ukrainian border called the "Wall". This was reported in the State border service of the country.
"The implementation of the "Wall" project is planned to be postponed for another four years and completed by 2025, " the border service said in response to a request from the Ukrainian public organization Statewatch.
Border guards explained the need to extend the terms of implementation of the action plan for engineering and technical development of the Russian-Ukrainian border "by reducing funding, as well as increasing the cost of construction materials, works, and services."
Former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk presented the "Wall" project in 2014 as a line of fortifications on the border with Russia with a length of two thousand kilometers. It was planned that the work would be completed in six months, but the deadline was extended first to 2018, then to 2021. As of mid-2019, according to border guards, the work provided for by the project was completed only by 30%. The total expected cost of the project will be 4.1 billion hryvnias (about $153 million at the current exchange rate).
In March 2016, investigators of the National anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) opened a criminal case on the theft of 16.7 million hryvnias (about $623 thousand at the current rate) during the implementation of the "Wall" project. In 2017, eight people were detained, suspected of involvement in a corruption scheme. According to investigators, a number of officials of the Border Service of Ukraine and business representatives overestimated the volume of work actually performed compared to the specified in the documents, and also attracted fictitious companies to withdraw funds allocated for construction. In addition, the documents indicated work that was not performed at all. The case is currently under review by the Supreme anti-corruption court of Ukraine.