Pevkur: No debate on border closure

Hanno Pevkur (Siim Lõvi /ERR)
9/15/2015 4:12 PM
Category: Politics

Interior Minister Hanno Pevkur said the Estonian government has not weighed closing its borders in a similar way to many European nations, that has for the first time put the European Schengen Area under question.

Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary have already increased border checks, with Poland and Finland also considering beefing up borders due to the migrant crisis.

“We evaluate the situation in the neighboring countries, but right now we do not see a reason to restore EU internal border checks,” Pevkur said.

“The European Union is a whole entity. Germany has not closed the entire state. The immigrants, who we have caught in Estonia as illegals, have mostly arrived from Russia. We have border controls on the Russian front,” he said, adding that currently, there is no reason to close borders.

Pevkur said that this does not mean the police are sleeping, and police departments are talking to each other and monitoring information on migrants.

“I do not believe it (the Schengen visa area) is currently in danger, but to stave off danger, all member states have to contribute enough,” Pevkur said.

Commenting on the opinion by his German counterpart, Thomas de Maiziere, that the EU should pressure those member states unwilling to accept asylum seekers, Pevkur said it is the German position and the nation is having problems as the end destination for many migrants. “In the European Union we take decisions as one, but all member states have a say,” he said.

Pevkur said focus should also go to holding the union's outside border and stabilizing the conflict areas.

J.M. Laats

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