Defense forces to place barbed wire on eastern border
Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet (Reform) has sent the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) a directive to put up 130 km of barbed wire on the country's eastern border to prepare for a possible hybrid attack.
The EDF Engineer Battalion is also prepared to set up barbed wire barriers, Laanet added.
"Belarus continues to escalate its hybrid attack on the borders of Poland and Lithuania, which is why we will implement the necessary measures to protect the Estonian border. In addition to the barbed wire, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) is prepared to contribute to protecting the border alongside the defense forces, PPA and the defense forces have already started negotiations," the defense minister said.
Laanet added that Estonia is communicating with allies daily to coordinate actions in case the situation were to escalate.
German daily Die Welt reported on Thursday that a European Commission confidential document describes the border situation between Belarus and Poland. The daily also wrote that that Russia could use an airport 30 kilometers from the border with Estonia to send migrants to the Baltic borders.
A new Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) unit was recently dispatched to Lithuania, to help out in border guard work in the southernmost Baltic State, and the fifth of its kind to do so since month-long rotations were first set up in the summer, when the surge in illegal migration began.
Background: Situation on the Polish-Belarusian border
Since Monday, thousands of migrants, mostly from the middle east, have been gathering at the Belarusian-Polish border near Grodno in northwestern Belarus.
The migrants, men, women and children, have mostly traveled from Iraq to Minsk on the promise they will be able to cross into the European Union. They have paid thousands of euros to do so but are now stuck at the border as Poland will not let them cross.
The situation is an escalation of events that has seen thousands of migrants cross the EU's eastern border since the summer, first in Lithuania and then Latvia and Poland.
After sanctions were placed on Belarus for human rights abuses by the EU, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko threatened to send "migrants and drugs" to Europe.
EU officials say the Minsk regime is responsible for facilitating and enabling irregular migration, calling it "hybrid aggression".
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste, Helen Wright