On the land border of Estonia with Russia, work has begun on the construction of temporary barriers, said on Saturday, November 20, the chief of the operational headquarters of the Eastern Prefecture Urmas Elm. First of all, the barriers will be installed in Narva in the north-east of the country and on the banks of the Piusa River in the south-east of the republic, confirmed the deputy director general of the police and border guard department for border protection Egert Belichev.
It is planned to install high-tech equipment at the border, in particular, an electronic security system. In addition, drones will be used here and any crossing will be recorded by sensors, the Estonian authorities warn. For about 90 km of the border, it is also planned to build a fence with a height of 2.5 m.
Raising the border at an accelerated pace
On the Estonian side, about 25 km of the border have already been arranged and work is underway on the next section, 39.5 km long. The total length of the Estonian-Russian border line is 338 km. Of these, 76 km pass along the Narva River and another 127 km – along Lake Peipsi. The land border, 135 km long, runs mainly through difficult terrain and in forested areas. Therefore, the authorities consider it necessary to build border infrastructure only for 115 km.
In connection with construction work in the regions bordering with Russia, flights of aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles are prohibited until November 26.
Currently, there is no legal border between the countries. The border treaty between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries was signed in 2014, but has not yet been ratified.
The previously approved plan envisaged the completion of the border with Russia by 2026. However, work on the construction of temporary fences is being carried out at an accelerated pace due to the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border.
Lukashenka’s revenge for EU sanctions
Over the past six months, the EU countries, primarily Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, have noted an increased flow of migrants who are trying to get to the EU through Belarus. Brussels accuses Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko of trying to purposefully create chaos near the borders of the European Union in retaliation for the European sanctions imposed on Minsk.
Once again, the situation on the border between Poland and Belarus escalated on November 8, when several thousand migrants from the Middle East approached it from the Belarusian side. Since then, they have continued to make attempts to forcefully cross the border in the direction of Poland, throwing stones at the border guards, using tear gas and blinding them with lasers. In response, Polish border guards use water cannons.
On Saturday, November 20, the Polish border service reported 195 attempts by migrants to break through the border per day. According to the border guards, the largest group consisted of up to 200 people.