Bulgaria, Hungary 'Mulling Purchase of Israeli Border Barriers'

Politics | September 4, 2015, Friday // 10:24
Bulgaria: Bulgaria, Hungary 'Mulling Purchase of Israeli Border Barriers' Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria and Hungary are considering options to use Israeli border equipment to respond to migratory pressure from the Middle East and North Africa, Reuters has said.

An exclusive report titled Migrant Crisis Spurs European Interest in Israeli Border Barriers reads that Sofia and Budapest have already "made preliminary inquiries about buying the Israeli-designed fences." It cites a source who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the discussions.

The source has also cited "budget constraints" and "the political sensitivity in the European Union over erecting fences" to explain why the outcome of talks is so far uncertain.

According to that idea, the two countries might erect towering steel security fences along parts of their borders.

Bulgaria's Deputy Ambassador to Israel, Rayko Pepelanov, is quoted as saying that "cooperation between the Israeli and Bulgarian ministries of internal affairs and security is quite intensive" and adding Bulgaria has taken "from the Israeli experiences" as much as it can.

The two EU nations seem to be particularly interested in the type of fence Israel has put up along its border with Egypt. Completed in 2013, it was aimed at stopping migrants from Africa and deterring Islamic insurgents.

The report suggests it might turn out expensive to construct the fence in Europe due to higher prices for foreign customers (15% up) and different topography (hills, forests, etc.). Israel itself spent some USD 380 on its own fence.

Thursday's article comes against the backdrop of a new influx of migrants at Hungary's borders, with Budapest looking into measures to reduce the pressure. It is already giving final touches to a border fence with Serbia, similar to the one Bulgaria erected on its border with Turkey.

Government officials from both countries are yet to comment on the information.

You can read Reuters' full report here.


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Tags: Rayko Pepelanov, Israel, Hungary, Bulgaria, EU, border, migrants
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