Estonia sends 50 Defense Forces members to Poland to build border barrier

Exercise Okas 2021 in progress on the eastern border at Narva.
Exercise Okas 2021 in progress on the eastern border at Narva. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

Fifty members of the Estonian Defense Forces are preparing to go to Poland to help repair a 40-km stretch of the Polish-Belarusian border.

The group will reach the border in the Lublin Voivodeship on Thursday along with a drone team and a media team. They will stay in Poland until January 1 and help mend and install wire barriers.

While the operations of the defense forces will be concentrated on this 40-km stretch, the drone and media team may be sent elsewhere if Poland requires additional assistance.

Lieutenant Colonel Mikk Pukk said: "We will support the Polish armed forces according to the area of ​​operation set up. The pioneers have initial instructions that they can operate in this area, but this is certainly not a limitation to other Estonian capabilities that are sent here."

Of the 50 soldiers, 18 are reservists who will return to Estonia for Christmas, ETV's current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported on Monday evening.

AK spoke to one reservist, Kristofer Pai, who must take an online exam at the University of Tartu in December. The exam could not be postponed, but Pai told AK he was not concerned.

"I'll get 4G up and running, I'll make a small hotspot with my phone - I'll connect it and I'll take an exam," Pai said.

But who will carry the wire at the same time? AK asked. "The other men," Pai joked.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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