Estonia sends police unit to Greece (2)
The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) sends its ESTPOL3 police unit to Greece. The main task of the unit will be to support local officers in procedural matters, and with sending people back to Turkey.
The twenty officers of ESTPOL3 came from all of Estonia’s police prefectures, its leader Toomas Malva said. “Based on current information, the PPA staff’s main task will be to put together the necessary documents to send back migrants arriving on the island of Lesbos, and to escort them,” Malva said.
Of the group, five were sent to Greece on Mar. 31, the remaining 25 will travel there on Saturday.
Malva said in his interview with ERR’s Vikerraadio on Friday that this time ESTPOL3’s task was different. In Slovenia they had helped migrants, Malva said, but this time they had to send them back, which could lead to a negative atmosphere.
The deal between the European Union and Turkey signed in March obliges Turkey to take back all migrants that crossed its border with the EU illegally. In return, the EU will support Turkey financially to cope with the situation, and will accept refugees directly out of its camps.
The European outer border agency Frontex then requested personnel from its members to deal with the new situation, which Estonia answered. A total of 1500 additional specialists was required, Frontex said.
Together with ESTPOL3, more than 40 officials of the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board are now involved. Estonia has also sent equipment as well as dog handlers and supporting personnel for Frontex’s press office.