Soldiers, reservists and employees of the Police and Border Guard Department of the Estonian Defense Forces started the construction of a temporary fence at the state border with Russia on Saturday, November 20.
In view of the crisis of illegal migration at the Belarusian border with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, as well as concerns about the possible emergence of a new migration route from Pskov through Estonia, work has begun in three locations.
The fence is currently being built on a two-and-a-half-kilometer-long section of the border in the north-east of the country, on the former Narva Riverbed, which is used by border trespassers, and in Mereme Parish in Võru County and Põlva County along the Piuza River.
Reservists of the Defense Forces, who were called up for additional training “Okas” this week, are participating in its installation. They have also been joined by some members of the Kaitseliit (Defense League) who have just completed their studies at Pohjakonn.
In the Ida-Viru district, almost the entire length of the Estonian-Russian border is formed by natural barriers – the Narva River, Peipus, Lemmijerv and Lake Pskov, and the greatest risk of crossing the border is in the two-and-a-half-kilometer stretch of Narva’s former bed.
According to Tarvo Krupa, Head of the Eastern Prefecture of the Police and Border Guard Department, potential border violators should be aware that a dried-up riverbed is not the right place to cross the border – it can only be done at official border checkpoints.
The Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas and the Commander of the Defense Forces Lieutenant General Martin Hemm also got acquainted with the progress of work in this border section on Saturday.
In total, the Police and Border Guard Department has marked on the map ten sections of the border with a total length of 40 kilometers, where a fence of barbed wire spirals will be created in three layers with the help of soldiers and reservists.