In the past, illegal border crossings have been carried out on the two and a half kilometers long route and fences and other obstacles are to be installed by Sunday evening, reported AK after the increase in migration pressure on the Belarusian border with Poland and fears that the same tactic will be used on the Estonian border with Russia could.
The Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) took part in the initiative, many of whom were reservists called in mid-week for the quick drills called Okas (“Quill”), as well as the Civil Police and Border Guard (PPA) and other authorities.
The head of the PPA Eastern Prefecture, Tarvo Kruup, said of the project: “We will send a message to everyone across the border and beyond that it is risky to come here and that a dry river bed is not a suitable place to cross the border to cross. The right place is at the official Grenzpunkt and on the right grounds. “
Okas takes place every fall, and reservists – former EDF recruits whose names remain on reservist lists after their term of office – are called up on short notice.
In addition, the Kaitseliit (Defense League) volunteer has just finished an exercise of its own, Põhjakonn (“Northern Frog”), and some of its members have decided to walk straight away to take part in Okas.
While much of the focus has been on strengthening Estonia’s southeastern border, this is the only land border with Russia – the fact that a section of the Narva River is generally dry also makes it a land border. The rest of the border is made up of watercourses; the river Narva, Peipsi Järv, Lämmijärv and Pihkva järv.
The main aim of the work is to close gaps in the absence of a border infrastructure with temporary barriers, which mainly consist of barbed wire.
No NATO allies are currently reported as directly participating in the exercise, although British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has pledged around 150 Royal Engineers to help on the Polish-Belarusian border, adding that the contingent could potentially help in the Baltic states, where required.
Estonia, unlike Latvia and Lithuania, does not border Belarus, but a leak to the European Commission reported by the German daily Die Welt a little over a week ago suggested that Pskov Airport – about 30 km from the Estonian one Border removed – could be opened for flights from Iraq and other Middle East countries in the same way as in Minsk.
The mass trafficking in people at risk from Iraq and other countries by the Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko has been condemned by the Estonian leadership and in the West as a whole as a cynical form of hybrid warfare and humanitarian abuse. Individuals reportedly paid thousands of dollars to board flights from Iraq to Minsk, which Lukashenko’s security forces then transferred to his western borders with the EU and spurred on to cross.
Most recently, thousands of people trying to cross the border into Poland have been violently turned back as the rapidly approaching winter has heightened concerns for migrants’ welfare.
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