The situation in Narva is calm and there is no need to ban the sale of alcohol or close the border with Russia, said Tarvo Kruup, prefect of the Police and Border Guard Board's eastern region, on Tuesday.
Speaking at around 11 a.m., Kruup said everything is going according to plan, the situation in Narva is calm, locals have been sympathetic and there have been no provocations.
He said the police take into account that the situation could worsen in the evening after people finish work, and that issues around drinking may occur.
"At the moment, I have no reason to think that the situation may become tense for us. At least, we will do everything we can to prevent it, but we must undoubtedly be prepared for all kinds of incidents and we are ready to react," he said.
The official said the police had considered introducing a ban on selling alcohol but the current threat assessment does not justify it. If it is introduced, it will not affect the whole of Ida-Viru County.
Discussions about closing the border with Russia were had, but were also found to be unnecessary.
Part of the road outside the border crossing has been temporarily cordoned off on Tuesday as Soviet memorial plaques are being removed from Peetri plats, the square in front of the checkpoint, but this has not significantly disturbed the flow of traffic, he said.
Tourists should not be afraid to visit Narva
The officer said tourists from the rest of Estonia should not be afraid to visit the border city, or Sillamäe, Kohtla-Järve or Alutagus.
"There are no signs that the people of Narva would be hostile towards Estonians. It is true that there are loud voices on social media, but conclusions should not be made based on individual provocateurs," he said.
The government ordered the removal of the tank on Tuesday morning and work began at 7 a.m. The tank was removed from its plinth at 11:30 a.m. and is now on the way to the Estonian War Museum in Viimsi.
Estonia is debating the future of its Soviet-era memorials, sparked by Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Several have already been moved to cemeteries or museums.
The government has tried to act cautiously as the memories of the removal of a Soviet statue known as the Bronze Solider in 2007, which led to riots in Tallinn and cyberattacks on government infrastructure, are still fresh in people's minds.
Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union twice, first between 1940–1941 and then again between 1944–1991.
Editor: Helen Wright