Leningrad Oblast Governor Aleksandr Drozdenko has announced, that Russia will close the Narva border crossing from the Ivangorod side to all vehicles for a period of two years due to reconstruction works.
According to a report on the official website of Russian city Kingisepp, Drozdenko said, that the border crossing from Ivangorod to Narva, will remain open to pedestrians for the duration of the works, which are due to begin in 2023.
The Narva border remains an active crossing for vehicles traveling between Estonia and Russia.
"Border issues are communicated between the countries via border representatives. The Republic of Estonia has not received any official information (about this). We will certainly ask the Russian authorities for further information," Reinsalu said.
According to Reinsalu, there has been unofficial talk about long-term repairs to the border crossing point from the Russian side, since February.
The foreign minister noted, that this could also be seen as a foreign policy move by Russia to exert pressure on Estonia, however, he believes it would have no major impact.
"The question is whether it will hinder us in any way. We have other border crossing points and international goods can also move through other countries' border crossing points with Russia," Reinsalu said.
"At the same time, we have to take into account, that whether this concerns people or other forms of movement, Russia could use this to put pressure on us. And these (kinds of) decisions can also happen overnight," Reinsalu said.
Reinsalu added, that as far as he is aware, Russia does not plan to carry out similar repair work on its Latvian, Finnish or Norwegian border crossings.
Lux Express Estonia CEO Ingmar Roos told ERR, that the company will start to put together an action plan based on this new information.
Roos said, that despite the current political situation in Europe, Lux Express had continued operating its Tallinn-St. Petersburg route in order to facilitate the movement of people, particularly those with relatives on either side of the border.
"I believe that, even though the border area is due for reconstruction in the coming year, it will still be necessary to provide a connection in the coming year," Roos added.
Although he was unable to provide more specific comments at this stage, Roos did suggest that Lux Express Estonia was keen to find a practical solution to the problem. One option could involve passengers crossing the Narva border on foot to reach buses stationed at the other side, which they could then board to continue their journeys towards either Tallinn or St. Petersburg.
Editor: Michael Cole