Veiko Kommusaar has been elected as the new deputy chief of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA). Kommusaar, who for the last four years has served as undersecretary for Internal Security at the Ministry of the Interior, will take up his new post on August 28.
"The Russian Federation's attack on Ukraine has further increased the importance of issues related to national borders and crisis preparedness for Estonia," Kommusaar said.
"The Eastern border infrastructure, along with the supporting technology, needs to be fully developed. It is important for security, both in terms of its essence as a border and also as a signal that the external border is being effectively and intelligently managed using the most modern means. It is also clear that migratory pressures show no sign of abating and we need to make technology work more in our favor, so that border guards can work even more precisely and further improve their performance," he added.
Speaking about crisis preparedness, Kommusaar said that the PPA is Estonia's first line of defense in all forms of crises.
"We need to continue to build our crisis resilience, both in Estonia and with our foreign partners, so that we know precisely who is doing what in a crisis," said Kommusaar.
"This means having a crisis reserve and planning it as accurately as possible, but also very good cooperation between us. We need Frontex to put more boots on the ground and more eyes on the border even in peacetime and increase the number of those supporting Estonia should we need their help in an emergency. We also need to continue cooperating closely with our good neighbors in the region and with the U.S., in order to be prepared for anything," he added.
Estonian Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) praised Kommusaar for his work at the interior ministry.
"Veiko is undoubtedly one of the best leaders in the public sector and the Police and Border Guard Board has much to gain from him joining. Veiko Kommusaar is an expert when it comes to internal security, both in Estonia and internationally," said Läänemets.
According to PPA Director Egert Belitšev, the main challenges Kommusaar will face in his new role relate to developing the PPA and improving crisis preparedness.
"Veiko Kommusaar has very good strategic management experience and an extensive network of contacts, both in Estonia and internationally, to carry out these tasks," said Belitšev.
Veiko Kommusaar has been active in the field of internal security for over 20 years. He has already occupied various PPA roles and for the last four years, served as undersecretary for Internal Security at the Ministry of the Interior.
Editor: Michael Cole