PPA: Estonia's border is stable but Belarus' 'migration attack' is not over

A border post in south Estonia in March 2023.
A border post in south Estonia in March 2023. Source: Leevi Lillemäe/ERR

Border guards from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Finland met on the island of Saaremaa on Thursday to discuss cooperation, threats and possible incidents on Belarus and Russia's borders.

Head of Estonia's Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) Egert Belitšev said the situation on the Estonian border is stable but said it must be taken into account that Russia is waging an active war.

"It is important to remember that this migration attack is not over. There are still people on the borders of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia who are trying to get in and who have been organized and targeted by the Belarusian authorities," Belitšev said.

He highlighted that these migration routes are not spontaneous and are organized by Belarus.

This activity has been called a "hybrid attack" by Baltic and Polish ministers. They believe the actions have been planned in retaliation to sanctions on Belarus and support for the opposition.

"This means that the situation can change very quickly. If there is a political will to put pressure on the borders of the European Union, it can happen overnight. But at the moment we see that the situation is stable and there are no major changes," the official added.

While there has been little activity on the Russian-Estonian border, thousands of people have tried to cross the border from Belarus into Poland, Latvia and Lithuania over the last two years.

Finland faced a similar situation with Russia in 2015.

Last year, Estonia legalized "pushbacks" in case a similar situation arises on its border in the future.


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Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Helen Wright

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