Russia to modernize border security

By Trude Pettersen

Russia is modernizing protection of its outer border by replacing outdated protective installations like barbed wire fences with advanced surveillance and monitoring equipment.

Radars, laser control systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, CCTV cameras, night vision equipment and other automatic information collection devices will be increasingly used to protect Russia’s 61,000-kilometer border, Deputy Head of FSB’s border guard service Vladimir Streltsov said to Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Weary vehicles currently used by border guards will also be replaced with modern four-wheelers and snowmobiles, he added.

When it comes to protection of Russia’s long borders in the Arctic, surveillance and control will be intensified through the use of satellites and radars. The Border Guard Service’s wants to improve its cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Emergency Situation and the Defense Ministry in these regions, Streltsov said.

FSB’s Border Guard Service consists of only professionals. The last conscript was dismissed in 2008.

Russia shares land borders with 14 countries – Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea, as well as South Ossettia and Abkhazia, which are both recognized as sovereign states by Russia. It also has maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, and the U.S. state of Alaska by the Bering Strait.

May 28 is the Russian Border Guard Service’s professional holiday.