Border Formalities to Be Reinstated in Week Before Obama Visit
Estonia will reassert its internal Schengen border controls temporarily in the final days of August.
The reason for the move is the arrival of United States President Barack Obama in Tallinn on September 3, to visit with President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and the presidents of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The meeting between the heads of state will be on the eve of a NATO summit to be held in Wales September 4-5.
Estonia will re-start the border checks three to five days before Obama's arrival and keep the border controls active through his visit.
Interior Minister Hanno Pevkur said that the restoration of border controls will take place at ports and airports, and to some extent along Estonia's southern border.
"At the airport it is definitely easier, because people already know that they must pass through security checkpoints and that if they are going to the Schengen area that they have to pass through border control," Pevkur told ERR radio news. "Vessel traffic monitoring is definitely time consuming, and people should take that into consideration."
An initial advance team arrived from the US last week to help with the preparations for Obama's visit. A larger group is due to arrive this week.
Up to an additional 1,800 police officers and border guards will be involved in the border checks.