Estonian PPA team monitoring Belarusian border during NATO summit

Lithuanian-Belarusian border.
Lithuanian-Belarusian border. Source: Erik Peinar

Estonia has sent a police unit to assist Lithuania's law enforcement agencies with monitoring the Belarusian border during the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius.

The 14-member team, ESTPOL7, was dispatched on Thursday after Lithuania's border guard requested additional assistance from the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PPA).

The unit will participate in patrols, drone observation, carry out surveillance tasks, and monitor the situation. They will return to Estonia on July 13.

ESTPOL7 team leader Eerik Purgel said the team is made up of members from different areas of the PPA not just the border guard.

The high-level summit takes place on July 11-12 and heads of state and politicians from the Alliance's 31 members will be staying in the capital.   

Egert Belitšev. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

PPA head Egert Belitšev said ESTPOL7 will help make sure the meeting takes place safely.

"The Lithuanian-Belarusian border is the external border of the European Union and NATO, and therefore also affects Estonia's internal security. It is also important for us to practice cooperation with Lithuanian law enforcement and partners from other countries," he said in a statement.

Estonia also sent several ESTPOL5 teams to Lithuania in 2021 when irregular migrants were crossing the border in what politicians called a "hybrid attack" directed by the Belarusian authorities.

The unit was engaged in patrolling and aerial surveillance of the border, guarding the places of accommodation for immigrants and ensuring public order.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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