Estonian residents in Russia should return as soon as possible ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Border point. Picture is illustrative.
Border point. Picture is illustrative. Source: (Sergei Stepanov)

Estonian citizens and residents temporarily staying in Russia should return to Estonia today after Russia announced it would be closing its border from Monday (March 30), the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday.

The Russian Federation will close its borders from Monday. The decision of the Russian government applies to all border crossing points for vehicles, trains and pedestrians, including passing through the Narva-Ivangorod border crossing point by foot.

Starting from tomorrow, crossing the border from Russia may become very complicated, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

As of now, Russian authorities have not clarified whether and on which grounds Estonian citizens and residents will be able to leave the country starting from tomorrow.

Therefore, the ministry asks Estonian residents who are temporarily in Russia to be aware of the fact that starting from tomorrow, they may not be able to leave the country.

According to the ministry's information, starting from tomorrow, entry to and exit from Russia is allowed only in special cases. Exceptions include:

  •  Staff of diplomatic and consular representations accredited by the Russian Federation, representatives of international organisations and their family members
  • Those providing international transport services 
  • Family members (spouses, parents, children, adopted children) of citizens of the Russian Federation who can present documents proving their status (the exception applies only on entering Russia, not exiting)
  • Entering or leaving the country due to the death of a relative.
     

The foreign ministry is in contact with the Russian authorities and will provide more detailed information once it becomes available.

On Friday (March 27), Russia suspended regular and chartered flights to and from foreign airports, except for evacuation flights bringing back Russian citizens from areas affected by the coronavirus or flights organised under special orders by the Russian government.

The latest information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be found here.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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