Government allocates €22.5 million for faster eastern border construction
Minister of Finance Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Reform) announced on Thursday that the government will allocate €22.5 million to expedite the construction of Estonia's eastern border.
The finance minister said at Thursday's government press conference that the allocated funds allow for construction to continue on the sections of the border on the Narva River, which were left out of the plans in 2019.
Minister of the Interior Kristian Jaani (Center) noted that a 21-kilometer barrier will be set up at the ninth and tenth border section, meaning the area around Värska and Pechory. The barrier should be completed in around a year.
The interior minister said constructing surveillance positions on Narva River is also crucial. "Today, 70 percent of Narva River is covered with monitoring technology," Jaani said, adding that there will also be patrols at the river.
Jaani said design, construction and land acquisition is all included in the allocated €22.5 million. "These processes take time, but we can begin installing surveillance technology on Narva River in the start of next year," the interior minister said.
Currently, the first section of the eastern border has been built and a tender was issued for the second stage in spring 2021. The first section is 25 km long and the second 39 km. The process has now been sped up by the current government due to the migrant crisis caused by Belarus on its borders with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.
It is not possible to build a barrier on some parts of Estonia's border because it runs through the middle of Lake Peipus and bogs. In total, the Estonian-Russian border is 294 km long.
In November, the annual snap military exercise Okas 2021 called up almost 1,700 reservists who will construct the temporary razor wire barrier on Estonia's eastern border over the next week.
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste