Paet: We cannot guarantee that refugee travel paths won't bring them to Estonia ({{commentsTotal}})

Estonian MEP Urmas Paet (Reform Party).
Estonian MEP Urmas Paet (Reform Party). Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

According to European Parliament member Urmas Paet, in addition to established routes through Turkey and Greece, and Libya and Italy, refugees are starting to migrate through Europe via a new path through Russia, which may begin to directly affect not just Norway and Finland, but also neighboring EU states Estonia and Latvia as well.

"So far, refugees that have traveled through Russia have traveled on mainly to Norway and Sweden, however we cannot guarantee that their paths will not bring them to Estonia and Latvia as well. This means that Estonia has to be ready," said Paet.

According to Paet, the path through Russia is much safer than the other routes that have been used the most until now, as it does not involve crossing the Mediterranean Sea. It does, however, raise questions as to how these people have managed to enter Russia, considering the country's strict border controls. It is also doubtful that the refugees are able to travel through Russia and on to Norway and Finland without additional help and arrangements.

"That being said," Paet continued, "Russia is a safe country for refugees, and an extradition treaty exists between the European Union and Russia, which also applies to persons from third party states that have entered into the EU via Russia. Thus refugees are able to apply for asylum in Russia as well."

Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik

Siim Kallas.

Interview: Siim Kallas on ambitions, Estonian politics, and EU presidency

Following the local elections in October this year, Reform Party founder, former prime minister, EU commissioner, and presidential candidate Siim Kallas took on the job of municipal mayor of Viimsi, a community on the outskirts of Tallinn. In his interview with ERR's Toomas Sildam, Kallas talks about local government, his party, the EU presidency, and perspectives in Estonian politics.

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