The European Commission promises to help with the start of so-called green corridors in order to ensure shipments continue to happen during the coronavirus pandemic, Estonia's Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson (Center) says. Simson confirmed that all commissioners have raised the issue of border crossings with their Polish counterparts.
"The European Commission has made it its task to coordinate the creating of the green corridors, which would be based on the road networks that have already been funded and used so that important parcels would be shipped. And of course, we need to ensure that every European citizen could return to their homeland," Simson told ERR on Thursday, March 19.
Simson said this was one of the main subjects of a recent teleconference that happened on Tuesday, when EU heads of the state and government discussed the issue.
"Situations similar to Poland exist in many regions of Europe and it is not true that this has not been addressed intensively. There have been close contacts with various Polish ministers. All the members of the Commission who are in contact with their Polish partners have also raised this issue, including myself," Simson said.
"The most important thing is to get the virus under control, but at the same time, it is just as important to restore the functioning of our economy, to achieve a situation where the internal market is preserved. For this, active work is being done," Simson added.
Poland closed its borders on Sunday night, 48 hours ahead of Estonia and the other two Baltic States. Despite promises that Estonian citizens still trapped west of the German-Polish border would be granted safe escort through Poland, this did not materialize, requiring last-minute vessels to be sent from Latvia and Estonia to the north German port of Sassnitz, to retrieve those stranded. This mission is still ongoing.
Supplies of medicines, protective equipment and other vital goods during the crisis have also been raised as concerns, given the new border control measures imposed in most European states.
Editor: Roberta Vaino